Muslim Women: France schools send back girls for wearing abaya newsbhunt


Paris: French schools sent dozens of girls home for refusing to remove their abayas – an over-garment from the shoulders to the feet worn by Muslim women – on the first day of the school year, a government minister said Tuesday. Defying a ban on the Muslim dress, nearly 300 girls showed up Monday morning wearing an abaya, Gabriel Attal said. Most agreed to change out of the dress, but 67 refused and were sent home, he said. Attal said the girls refused entry were given a letter addressed to their families saying that “secularism is not a constraint, it is a liberty”.
France announced last month it was banning the abaya in schools, saying it broke the rules on secularism in education that have already seen Muslim headscarves banned on the grounds they constitute a display of religious affiliation. Late Monday, President Emmanuel Macron defended the controversial measure, saying there was a “minority” in France who “hijack a religion and challenge the republic and secularism”, leading to the “worst consequences” such as the murder three years ago of teacher Samuel Paty for showing Mohamed caricatures during a civics education class.


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