Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Erdogan to rid Turkish institutions of ‘separatist cancer’ after coup attempt

Read more

ENCORE!

The best of summer music festivals in France

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Going for gold: French athletes train for Rio Olympics

Read more

#TECH 24

Digital beauty

Read more

FOCUS

Women doctors in Pakistan challenge the status quo

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Trump hopes to reset America's trade relations

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Donald Trump's speech was just another scam'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cazeneuve at the heart of Nice security controversy

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

South Africa: Prosecutors seek longer sentence for Oscar Pistorius

Read more

France

Muslim veil ban urged in French universities

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-08-06

France prohibits all children from wearing religious symbols such as Muslim headscarves in schools. A government agency has now recommended extending the ban to universities, citing “growing tensions”.

A French government agency responsible for maintaining the country’s secular values has recommended banning university students from wearing religious symbols such as crucifixes, Jewish skullcaps and Muslim headscarves.

In a report seen by French daily Le Monde on Monday, the High Council for Integration (HCI) said it was alarmed by “growing tensions in all sectors of university life” that were undermining the country’s secular values.

A guide to the four main types of Muslim veil

In 2004, France passed a law banning school children from wearing religious symbols in all educational establishments, except for universities. The move, the report noted, has been successful in reducing problems arising from religious differences in schools.

The HCI now wants to see the same rules applied to universities.

Tensions, it reported, came from “demands to be excused from attendance for religious reasons, demands for separation of sexes in lectures and seminars, instances of proselytising, disagreements over the curriculum, and the wearing of religious clothes and symbols.”

'Law needs updating'

The report makes 12 recommendations, chiefly that the 2004 law should be updated to prohibit university students from wearing religious symbols, in particular the Muslim headscarf.

The full report, Le Monde said, is due to be published in the autumn.

Official secularity has a long history in France, dating back to the 1905 Separation of Churches and State law.

While this legislation was intended to reduce the influence of Christianity on French public life, Islam is increasingly influential in France, which has Europe’s biggest Muslim population (estimated at five million).

Following the 2004 law banning religious symbols in schools, former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s government in 2011 banned the wearing of the full face-covering Islamic veil in all public places.

Date created : 2013-08-05

  • FRANCE

    French court sentences youth in veil riot case

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France's first private Muslim school tops the ranks

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Poll shows French back veil ban in private sector

    Read more

COMMENT(S)