Skip to comments.France tightens Muslim headscarf guidelines
Posted on 05/03/2004 4:55:17 PM PDT by MegaSilver
PARIS: France tightened up proposed guidelines for a ban of religious headwear in state schools yesterday after teachers complained an earlier draft was too vague and filled with potential loopholes.
France last month passed a controversial ban on headscarves, skullcaps and large Christian crosses in a bid to keep tensions between its large Muslim and Jewish populations out of schools. The guidelines were aimed helping schools enforce the ban.
The new, shorter draft by Education Minister Francois Fillon includes a revised clause forbidding pupils from citing religious grounds for refusing to remove an item of headwear.
It also scraps an earlier exemption permitting traditional clothing which was an effort to leave leeway for schools in Frances majority Muslim island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. Instead, separate guidelines will be issued for Reunion schools.
We tried to find a balance that gives head teachers clear instructions on how to apply the law, in other words to make sure that conspicuous religious symbols are banned in school, Fillon told reporters.
France has faced much international condemnation for the ban, due to be applied from the next school year in September. But it is broadly popular among the French, who treasure the secular character of state institutions.
Principals and teachers strongly pressured the government to pass an outright ban on all religious gear in state schools, arguing they needed it to stem a growing tide of sectarian tension and violence, especially between Muslims and Jews.
It will make the fanatics even more fanatical.
I get the feeling they'll be asking us about bumping up our NATO presence a little bit more sometime soon.
If the Front National had its way, that might actually happen.
Well, yes. Not saying I'm a fan of the Front, not by any means. I like them just a little bit better than the other French political parties. I'm just glad I don't have to vote for any of 'em.
The FN would do well to focus on culture rather than race. Of course, that might not help them in the press.
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