French Muslim girl banned from class for wearing long skirt

A 15-year-old Muslim girl who was banned from class twice for wearing a long black skirt

Afp April 28, 2015

FRANCE: France - The case of a 15-year-old Muslim girl who was banned from class twice for wearing a long black skirt seen as too openly religious for secular France has sparked an outcry.

The girl was stopped from going to class earlier this month by the head teacher who reportedly felt the long skirt -- popular among some Muslim women who cover their whole body  ‘conspicuously’ showed religious affiliation, which is banned in schools by France's strict secularist laws.

"The girl was not excluded, she was asked to come back with a neutral outfit and it seems her father did not want the student to come back to school," local education official Patrice Dutot told AFP on Tuesday.

He added that the student always removed her veil before entering school premises in the northeastern town of Charleville-Mezieres, as is specifically stipulated by law.

According to the 2004 law that governs secularity in schools, veils, the Jewish kippa or large Christian crosses are all banned in educational establishments, but "discreet religious signs" are allowed.

The student, whom local daily L'Ardennais identified as Sarah, told the newspaper her skirt was "nothing special, it's very simple, there's nothing conspicuous. There is no religious sign whatsoever."

Her story was trending on Twitter in France Tuesday with the hashtag #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux, translated into English as "I wear my skirt as I please."

"If it's worn by a 'white' person, it's hippy chic, if it's a Muslim, it becomes conspicuous," one user tweeted.

But the regional education office hinted in a statement that wearing the skirt could have been part of a concerted ‘provocation’.

"When it comes to concerted protest actions by students, which follow other more visible incidents linked for instance to wearing the veil, the secular framework for education must be firmly reminded and guaranteed," it said.

According to the CCIF Islamophobia watchdog, some 130 students were rejected from class last year for outfits deemed too openly religious.


Syed Azmat Ali | 9 years ago | Reply What blows my mind is that a country that protects the right of the people to roam naked on beaches and even roads, who are ok with same sexes getting married, where there is supposed to be complete and absolute freedom of expression, would go crazy over a long skirt. The girl supposedly / reportedly takes off her veil before entering her school. What else is she expected to do. Take off her scarf too? Wear a bikini to work to be included? What's neutral dressing? What if a Caucasian christian girl wears the exact same skirt, will she be asked to leave the class / school? I am absolutely dumbfounded. I think France should go ahead and ban ISLAM as an acceptable religion in France and get it over with. SECONDLY, those claiming that France-bashers don't speak out about Pakistani draconian laws don't realize that Pakistan declares itself as an "Islamic Republic" which entails certain limitations. France, on the other hands, wishes to be considered an "advanced" and "open" and "free" society. And yet it acts in such abhorrent fashion. Also, those claiming that the rules / laws of a democratic people must be adhered to, should reflect that if the uneducated masses of Pakistan start to enact their culture / laws as a nation, would they be able to survive here?
Meshuga | 9 years ago | Reply @Ahmed: The "civilized world" is a straw-man argument. We do not live under a one-world government. Thank God for that! All 200+ countries are autonomous and governed by their Constitution and laws. Not all countries are even democratic or even alike. Indonesia just executed 9 people for non-violent drug trafficking, despite calls for mercy from many quarters, including the UN and the Pope (but none from any Muslim majority country). Pakistani Supreme Court has cleared the way for falsely-accused Asiya Bibi to be executed for blasphemy (she is a Christian). Which civilized world are you talking about, kind Sir?
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