| 24 July 2024, Wednesday |

French administrative judiciary supports government’s decision to ban abaya in public schools

The highest administrative court in France has upheld the government’s decision to ban the wearing of the full-body veil, known as the “abaya,” in public schools.

The Council of State, France’s highest court for reviewing complaints against government authorities, announced on Thursday that it had rejected a request from an association to issue a judicial order against the government’s ban, which was imposed last month.

In a statement, the Council argued that the government’s decision does not constitute discrimination against Muslims.

The association “Action for the Rights of Muslims” (A.D.M) had filed an urgent review before the Council, seeking to suspend the government’s decision on the grounds that it amounted to discrimination and violated rights.

However, the Council of State deemed that the government’s decision “does not clearly infringe on the right to respect for private life, freedom of worship, the right to education, respect for the best interests of the child, or the principle of non-discrimination.”

The Council further noted in its ruling that wearing the abaya in public schools, or any similar clothing (such as the male abaya for males), falls within the scope of a “logic of religious affiliation,” as evidenced, especially, by comments made during dialogues with students.

It also added that “the law prohibits students, within the public school environment, from wearing signs or clothing that clearly manifest an affiliation to a religion.”


  • AFP