French authorities have banned mothers who wear headscarves from joining their kids on school trips despite receiving a massive backlash from the Muslim community.
The headscarves ban serves as an extension of the current ban which prohibits Islamic garments.
Before the implementation of the ban, mothers were prohibited from wearing Islamic garments when visiting or picking up their children in primary and secondary schools in France. Now, the mothers are also banned from wearing headscarves when accompanying their kids on school trips.
The bill was proposed by the Republican Party who suggested that the current ban needs to be reinforced to encourage secularism which is a key tenet of the country’s constitution.
Based on laïcité, which refers to secularism in French, all types of religious expression should be banned when it comes to the matters of the state aka government affairs.
While the new law specifically targeted all “conspicuous religious symbols,” Muslim mothers are the ones most affected by it due to being prohibited from wearing hijabs in schools and during schools’ activities.
According to Republican senator Jacqueline Eustache-Brinio, the alteration of the ban will seal the “legal vacuum to fill concerning the application of the principle of secularism during field trips.”
While the law was rejected by the lower house of the French parliament, the Senate approved of it with 186 votes against 100.
Following the acceptance of the bill, Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer spoke out and claimed the decision might cause serious problems in places with lots of Muslim mothers.
“This bill is contrary to the Council of State’s decision and will create many problems in the development of school trips,” he said.
Meanwhile, another European country, Austria, banned girls from wearing hijabs in schools.
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