O France’s Minister of Education, Gabriel Attal, announced this Sunday that the use of Islamic abayas in schools will be banned. “It will no longer be possible to wear an abaya in schools”said the official to the television station TF1, quoted by the France-Presse agency.

Asked about this controversial topic after incidents related to the use of the abaya, a traditional long dress or tunic that covers the whole body, the minister announced on the TF1 television channel that he would like to speak “from next week” with those in charge of the establishments schools to help them enforce this ban.

“Secularity is the freedom to emancipate oneself through school”, insisted the minister. After his appointment to the Ministry of Education and Youth at the end of July, the official considered that going to school wearing an abaya was “a religious gesture intended to test the Republic’s resistance to the secular sanctuary that should be the school”, promising to be “firm on the matter”.

“You must be able to enter a classroom [e] not being able to identify the religion of the students when looking at them”, said the minister again today, on TF1.

The issue of wearing the abaya, which is not a Muslim religious symbol according to the French Council for Muslim Worship (CFCM), had already been the subject of a circular from the Ministry of Education last November.

In that circular, abayas are considered – as well as bandanas and long skirts, also mentioned – as garments that can be prohibited if they are “used in a way that ostensibly manifests a religious affiliation”.

But those responsible for educational establishments were waiting for clearer rules on this matter in view of the upsurge in incidents.

According to a note from State services, of which AFP obtained a copy, attacks on secularism, much more numerous since the murder of Professor Samuel Paty, in 2020, near his school, have increased by 120% between the 2022/2023 school year. and 2021/2022.

Since the law of March 15, 2004, “in schools, colleges and public high schools, the use of signs or costumes by which students ostensibly demonstrate religious affiliation is prohibited”.

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Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2388078/franca-proibira-abayas-islamicas-nas-escolas-serao-dadas-regras-claras

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