France's Highest Court Upholds Ban on Muslim Abaya Dress in Schools
France's Council of State rules in favor of the government ban on Muslim abaya dress in schools, sparking controversy over potential infringement on fundamental freedoms.
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France's highest court, the Council of State, has affirmed the legality of the government's ban on Muslim dress known as the abaya. This ban, which was announced last month, pertains to the abaya, a loose-fitting and full-length robe worn by some Muslim students in schools across the country.
The decision follows an appeal filed by three organizations – Sud Education Paris, La Voix Lyceenne, and Le Poing Leve Lycee unions – challenging the ban. Last week, Vincent Brengarth, representing the Muslim Rights Action (ADM), initiated an appeal with the Council of State seeking the suspension of the abaya ban, arguing that it infringes upon "several fundamental freedoms."
However, on September 7, the Council of State rejected the ADM's appeal, asserting that the ban does not significantly violate or blatantly contravene the right to privacy, religious freedom, or the right to education.
The ban on the abaya has sparked considerable controversy, drawing criticism toward the government. France has faced scrutiny in recent years for policies and statements perceived as targeting Muslims, including mosque and charitable foundation raids, as well as the introduction of an "anti-separatism" law that imposes extensive restrictions on the Muslim community. This latest ruling adds to the ongoing debate surrounding the balance between religious freedoms and state intervention in France.
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