Students protest France anti-hijab law
Mon, 16 Mar 2009
Muslim students have held demonstrations in Paris on the
fifth anniversary of the banning of the Muslim headscarf in
The protesters, mostly Muslim girls with hijab, described
the "French law on secularity and conspicuous religious
symbols in schools" as racial discrimination saying people
should be free to choose their dress code.
The law, which is an amendment to the French Code of
Education separating state and religious activities, bans
students from wearing religious symbols in schools.
France's national legislature passed the controversial bill
and President Jacques Chirac signed it into law on March 15,
2004 and it came into effect on September 2, 2004, at the
beginning of the new school year.
Many say the bill contradicts court decisions that had
allowed students to wear religious signs, as long as they
did not amount to "proselytizing".
Although the law does not mention any particular symbol, it
is widely believed that it targets Muslims' headscarves