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    WorldOfIslam.info - War On Hijab

    French scarf ban comes into force

    A law banning Islamic headscarves and other religious symbols from French state schools came into effect on Thursday, the first day of term.

    So far, most pupils have been observing the law by removing the headscarf or other symbols before entering school.

    French education authorities with a large Arab population were on high alert on Thursday. Teams of mediators were on hand to intervene in any dispute.

    Schools have been told not to automatically exclude pupils who arrive wearing headscarves, but to try and avert a showdown through dialogue.

    The law, which affects 12 million children, calls for a period of dialogue, although Education Minister Francois Fillon has stressed that there is no room for negotiations.

    "There is no question today of excluding. It is a question of convincing," he said.

    As classes opened, one Muslim girl in the working-class Paris suburb of Aubervilliers said she had left her headscarf at home.

    The ban is not only affecting Muslims. Sikhs argue that their turbans are not religious symbols.

    Young Sikh Ranjit, 15, went to the Jean-Rostand school in the Parisian suburb of Villepinte on Thursday morning to get his new timetable, wearing a thin strip of material on his hair rather than his customary turban, AFP news agency reports.

    2 September, 2004
    Source: BBC News

     
     
     
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