France’s highest administrative court docket is to rule on Thursday whether or not a faculty ban on abayas, conventional over-garments worn by some Muslim girls, is authorized.
President Emmanuel Macron’s authorities introduced final month it was banning the abaya in colleges, saying it broke the foundations on secularism in training which have already seen Muslim headscarves banned on the grounds that they represent a show of spiritual affiliation.
However an affiliation representing Muslims filed a movement with the State Council, France’s highest court docket for complaints in opposition to state authorities, for an injunction in opposition to the ban on the abaya and the qamis, its equal costume for males.
The affiliation argued the ban was discriminatory and will incite hatred in opposition to Muslims, in addition to racial profiling.
The State Council has been analyzing the movement, filed by the Motion for the Rights of Muslims (ADM), since Tuesday, and mentioned it could rule on Thursday.
France’s Council of the Muslim Religion (CFCM), established to characterize Muslims earlier than the federal government, warned that banning the abaya may create “an elevated threat of discrimination” and mentioned it was contemplating placing its personal grievance earlier than the State Council.
The absence of “a transparent definition of this garment creates vagueness and authorized uncertainty”, it mentioned.
ADM’s lawyer, Vincent Brengarth, argued in the course of the court docket listening to that the abaya must be thought-about a standard garment, not a spiritual one.
He additionally accused the federal government of in search of political benefit with the ban.
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ADM president Sihem Zine mentioned the rule was “sexist” as a result of it singles out ladies and “targets Arabs”.
However the training ministry mentioned the abaya made its wearers “instantly recognisable as belonging to the Muslim faith”.
French colleges despatched dozens of women house for refusing to take away their abayas — a shoulder-to-toe over-garment — on the primary day of the varsity yr on Monday.
Practically 300 schoolgirls defied the ban, Training Minister Gabriel Attal mentioned.
Most agreed to alter clothes however 67 refused and have been despatched house, he mentioned.
In 2016 the State Council overturned a ban in a French Riviera resort in opposition to the burkini, saying it didn’t see any menace to public order from the lengthy bathing swimsuit worn by some Muslim girls.
Round 10 % of France’s 67 million inhabitants are Muslim, in accordance with official estimates.
Most have origins in northern African nations Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, which have been French colonies till the second half of the 20th century.