French Law On Secularity and Conspicuous Religious Symbols in Schools

The French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools bans wearing conspicuous religious symbols in French public (i.e. government-operated) primary and secondary schools. The law is an amendment to the French Code of Education that expands principles founded in existing French law, especially the constitutional requirement of laïcité: the separation of state and religious activities.

The bill passed France's national legislature and was signed into law by President Jacques Chirac on 15 March 2004 (thus the technical name is law 2004-228 of 15 March 2004) and came into effect on 2 September 2004, at the beginning of the new school year. The full title of the law is Loi n° 2004-228 du 15 mars 2004 encadrant, en application du principe de laïcité, le port de signes ou de tenues manifestant une appartenance religieuse dans les écoles, collèges et lycées publics (literally "Law #2004-228 of March 15, 2004 concerning, as an application of the principle of the separation of church and state, the wearing of symbols or garb which show religious affiliation in public primary and secondary schools").

The law does not mention any particular symbol, and thus bans all Christian (veil, signs), Muslim (veil, signs), Jewish and other minor religions' signs. But it is considered by many to specifically target the wearing of headscarves (a khimar, considered by most Muslims to be an obligatory article of faith as part of hijab ) by Muslim schoolgirls. For this reason, it is occasionally referred to as the French headscarf ban in the foreign press.

Read more about French Law On Secularity And Conspicuous Religious Symbols In Schools:  Law Creation and Interpretations, Enforcement, Interpretation

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French Law On Secularity And Conspicuous Religious Symbols In Schools - Interpretation
... There have been a number of cases where school or public authorities have attempted to apply the law to accompanying adults ... Whilst this is allowed within the definition of the law, it may be perceived as being against the spirit, particularly within the Islamic community ... Many Muslims believe the law to be unenforceable, as it is - by definition - against sharia principles ...

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