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Why France is now banning the wearing of the Islamic robe, the abaya, in schools

Why France is now banning the wearing of the Islamic robe, the abaya, in schools

The French Minister of Education Gabriel Attalhas reignited an old debate on the subject in French society Limits of freedom in school. Attal has announced plans to ban the use of the abayathe islamic women’s robe, in the educational centers of the country. He secularism “It’s not a restriction, it’s a freedom,” Attal explained in an interview with the French broadcaster TF1, where he spoke of a “necessary and fair” regulation. While he did not give an exact date, the minister confirmed that he intends to speak to education leaders on the issue before the start of the school year on September 4.

“We will no longer be able to wear the abaya to school. School principals are on many occasions at the forefront of these issues, “Secularism is the freedom to emancipate yourself through school,” emphasized the minister, who believes that attending school in an abaya makes sense “A religious gesture intended to test the Republic’s resistance to the secular sanctuary that schools should be.”

“Want Give them clear rules at national level in the coming days,” Attal explained about the ban on wearing this tunic Covers the entire body except the head although on many occasions women complement it with a handkerchief to cover themselves practically completely.

This announcement comes a few days after the conclusions of a statement from government services that revealed: There is an explosion of what they call “attacks on secularism” in schools. Accordingly, 4,710 reports were made in this regard last year, more than twice as many as in the previous year. The report highlights that the Attacks on secularism are far more numerous in France since the assassination of Professor Samuel Paty, beheaded by Abdullah Anzorov, a young man of Chechen origin, e.g having taught cartoons of Mohammed in class.

Directors of educational centers for almost a year have to deal with the task of managing the clothing of the abaya-covered students (traditional Middle Eastern long dresses worn over other clothing) or with qamis (long tunics for men). Teachers are asking for “clear instructions” to know if these outfits are appropriate expression of a religious affiliation, This violates the 2004 law. The law states that “in public schools, colleges and secondary schools, the use of any sign or clothing by which students purport to express a religious affiliation is prohibited.”

He French Council for Muslim Worship announced in June that The abaya ‘is not a Muslim religious sign’ and stressed that “in the Muslim tradition, a garment of any kind is not in itself a religious sign.” In November, a national educational circular She considered the abaya, as well as shawls and long skirts, to be garments that could be banned if they were “worn in a way that purportedly expressed a religious affiliation”.

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