France bans wearing the abaya gown in schools, drawing fury from Islamic leaders
- The sudden move has angered religious leaders across the country.
- France bans religious posters in public schools and government buildings
Muslim leaders have reacted angrily to a sudden decision by the French government to ban the abaya in public schools.
Gabriel Attal, Paris’s education secretary, considers the long, loose-fitting tunic too closely linked to Islam.
France has a strict ban on religious posters in public schools and government buildings, because they violate laws on secularism.
Announcing the ban effective September 4, at the start of the new school year, Mr. Attal said: “When you walk into a classroom, you shouldn’t be able to tell the religion of the students just by looking at them. I have decided that the abaya is already It may not be used in schools.”
But Abdallah Zekri, vice president of the French Council for Muslim Worship, said the abaya “has never been a religious symbol anyway.”
France has a strict ban on religious posters in public schools and government buildings, because they violate laws on secularism (Stock)
French Education Secretary Gabriel Attal (pictured) said he feels the abaya “is a fashionable shape.”
Instead, he said the ban was another example of politicians using the clothing preferred by women and girls to attack some 5 million Muslims living in France.
“I think the minister could have asked for the opinion of the religious leaders,” Zerkri said.
‘For me, the abaya is not a religious garment, it is a form of fashion.
‘If you go to some stores, you find abayas. It is a long and loose dress at the same time. It has nothing to do with religion.’
In June, the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM) also ruled that the abaya was not a Muslim religious sign.
Zekri was “surprised that the issue of the abaya in the classroom has become a priority, while the teaching teams are concerned about the lack of funding, the lack of teachers and many other problems in the schools.”
In 2010, France banned the wearing of full-face veils in public, sparking anger among Muslims over the so-called “burqa ban.”
The country has imposed a strict ban on religious posters in schools since the 19th century, and now the banned items also include the Jewish kippah.