Sunday, June 23, 2024

Abaya ban.. Secularist French government and Islamic organizations legal action | principle


paris- It seems that some families in France this year are not just focused on buying school supplies and choosing the right price, as Education Minister Gabriel Atalin’s decision to ban the wearing of the abaya – put more of a burden on them. Back to school.

In a letter to parents of students on Thursday, he said, “The policy of secularism envisages the neutrality of the state to all students irrespective of their beliefs,” adding that “wearing of abayas and t-shirts is not compulsory in schools”.

For her part, Prime Minister Elizabeth Bourne said “things are going well on Monday morning” as she visited a primary school in Saint-Germain-sur-Ile, adding that “we will continue to be careful throughout the day. The students understand the meaning of this rule.”

However, the decision has sparked protests from Islamic associations who filed a complaint against President Emmanuel Macron’s government after the decision to ban the abaya in schools, claiming it violates fundamental freedoms.

Girls’ clothes in France monitored as they return to school (Getty)

Starts with a bitter taste

At eight o’clock yesterday morning, Monday, the students arrived at the “Emilie Mathis” secondary school in the “Celdigheim” area, a suburb of Strasbourg, where they were greeted by a female staff member.

A student said, “I decided to wear a long, loose dress instead of an abaya to avoid the teachers’ comments and walk into the classroom on the first day of school.

In her interview with Al Jazeera Net, she added, “I watched some videos on Tiktok to get an idea of ​​what was going on, and my friends and I decided to wear this kind of modest clothing despite our rejection of the ministry’s decision. We knew that if we didn’t follow this, we would be denied entry into the classroom. .

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Another continued, “Every day we take off the hijab at the school gate, which is very difficult for us and our families. Today, we are forced to give up the abaya as well. This is an unjust decision that directly targets Arabs and Muslims. That associations and actors will help us to retain part of our rights.” I believe.

As for the school doorman, he explained to Al Jazeera Net that he declined to comment that he was monitoring the students’ clothing “to ensure that they do not wear this uniform in implementation of the decision of the Ministry of Education”.

After the ministry’s announcement, some high school girls began posting videos on the TikTok platform calling for “breaking the taboo” and offering suggestions and ideas for looser alternatives to the abaya.

Local media reported that some female students at the Martínez Dutcher school in Lyon who chose to wear loose, dark-colored clothing were called to the principal’s office for discussion, “some of them managed to attend their classes, others failed to.” So.”

The school is secular

Meanwhile, during a meeting with journalist Hugo Travers yesterday, the French president insisted that “the school is secular from kindergarten to bachelor, and there is no place for religious symbols.”

Macron described the move, which came into effect yesterday in some 500 educational institutions, as a “deep issue” and “opened the way for consultation on the possibility of imposing a uniform consisting of jeans, T-shirt. And a jacket to exclude any specific clothing.”

Many French politicians – especially those on the far right – supported the controversial decision, with MP Julien Odol writing on Platform X, “Finally, after years of cowardice, the government has accepted the National Front’s plan to ban the abaya.”

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He continued, “A lot more needs to be done to banish Islamism from our schools, ban the hijab for accompanying students, and implement uniform dress code.

On the other hand, the ban on the abaya, which comes as a follow-up to a 2004 law that banned the wearing of clothing or symbols that “externally express religious affiliation”, has sparked controversy among left-wing parties and pledged by the “Pride France” movement. Appeal the decision before the Council of State.

In a statement to Al Jazeera Net, Muslim female students resort to loose clothing instead of abayas to avoid trouble.
Girl students resort to loose clothing instead of abayas to avoid problems (Kheti).

Legal case

Following the controversy over the decision, the French Council of State on Tuesday is examining a request submitted to the court by the Association for Muslim Rights (ADM) to urgently consider the issue of banning the abaya in schools.

The association was established in 2015 to support victims of discrimination, both legally and practically, in cooperation with the United Nations, the Human Rights Council in Geneva and the Group of Islamic Organizations affiliated to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The founder and director of the association confirmed Chiham Jean –In its judicial request, “the decision of the ministry ignores the constitution and the law, which is considered general and does not impose a definition of the overt religious nature of wearing these clothes.”

The association also considers that the decision “violates children’s rights and targets Arabs, Africans and Muslims, creates a risk of racial and religious profiling in schools and perpetuates inequality, exclusion of minorities and discrimination against them”.

The association’s director told Al Jazeera Net that banning female students studying in public institutions from wearing the dress is preventing them from expressing their connection to a culture or a particular geographical area. abaya) instead of using its translation, meaning “garment.” “.

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The text of the request – a copy of which was obtained by Al Jazeera Net – says the minister “seriously violates the rights to non-discrimination on the basis of color or appearance by requiring schools to prohibit the wearing of Arab or African clothing. Staff must determine the reason why students wear these clothes.”

In turn, the French Council for Islamic Worship (CFCM) affirmed that the abaya is a cultural symbol, not a religious one. Tariq Oubrou, the imam of the Bordeaux mosque, told France Info on Thursday that “we are running after a demon wearing clothes,” which “does not address the roots of the problem and Islamic law does not impose religious symbols or clothing. .”

Article 2 of Education Law No. 141 states that “the State guarantees to public educational institutions the possibility of children and adolescents receiving an education suited to their abilities with equal respect for the rights and beliefs of all children.”

“Public higher education is secular and independent of political, economic, religious, or ideological influence, and respects diversity of opinion,” says another article.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
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