French schools do not allow about 300 girls to wear the “abaya” and President Macron vigorously defends the ban | outside

French schools refused entry to nearly 300 girls on Monday for wearing the abaya, a type of garment that covers almost the entire body. The French government banned this garment, which is of Arab origin and worn mainly by Muslim women, in schools because it contradicts the strict nature of the state’s secular institutions. The new school year in France started on Monday.

With the start of the school year, French Education Minister Gabriel Atal banned the wearing of abayas. He based his decision on the longstanding ban on visible religious symbols in schools in France, which values ​​secularism. Eventually, most of the girls went to school on Monday and took off their abayas. Attal said that 67 schoolgirls refused and had to go home.


President Emmanuel Macron fiercely defended the cloak ban on Monday night. According to him, “a small minority is misusing this garment to hijack the Islamic religion and challenge the secular republic.”

The strict separation of state and religion is sacred to the French state. Since 2004, it has been expressly forbidden to wear anything that expresses religious religiosity in educational institutions. However, it was not yet clear whether the abaya and men’s shirt were among the garments in which the Islamic faith was practiced.

Woman wearing a cloak in Nantes. © Reuters

In the discussion about the possibility of introducing school uniforms, the French president spoke in favor of school uniforms. “There is the uniform, and there is the uniform,” Macron said in an interview with YouTuber Hugo Decrypt on Monday evening. “Without having a uniform, you can say you wear a T-shirt, jeans and a jacket,” the president said. “You can get things that are more acceptable to young people, which is the uniform, which is not a uniform and which I think is less strict from a discipline point of view.”

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French Council of State

The controversy over the introduction of the school uniform has flared up again in France, because, according to the authorities, more and more girls are said to be wearing so-called gowns at school. The question of whether banning gowns in schools is legal will come before France’s Council of State, France’s highest administrative court, on Tuesday. The Society for the Protection of Muslim Rights had filed an urgent appeal against the ban.

Woman wearing a gown at night.
Woman wearing a gown at night. © AFP

Denton Watson

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