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France’s Conseil d’Etat: the ban on Muslim abaya dress is legal

France’s highest court, Conseil d’Etat, rejected appeal against ban on Muslim abaya dress in schools.

Last week, three unions, the Sud Education Paris, La Voix Lyceenne and Le Poing Leve Lycee, filed an appeal against the State Council’s decision to maintain the ban on Muslim abaya dress, a loose and full-length garment worn by some Muslim pupils in schools.

On 31 August, Vincent Brengarth, a lawyer for Muslim Rights Action (ADM), appealed to the State Council to suspend the ban, which he said violated “some fundamental freedoms.” On 7 September, the Council of State rejected the appeal.

This ban does not seriously violate and is not manifestly illegal to the right to respect for private life, the freedom of religion, the right to education.

The move, taken by the government, has provoked a negative public reaction. The authorities have been criticised in recent years for targeting Muslims with raids on mosques and charities, and for an “anti-separatism” law that imposes broad restrictions on the Muslim community.


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