France votes to ban mothers from wearing headscarves on school trips

France’s Senate votes to ban mothers who wear headscarves from accompanying their children on school trips

  • The Senate has banned the wearing of ‘conspicuous religious symbols’
  • It is in theory to protect the key French principle of secularism
  • But in practice the new law would specifically target Muslim mothers
  • Emmanuel Macron’s government said it intends to overturn the new legislation 

France has banned mothers from wearing Islamic headscarves when accompanying children on school trips.

The Senate ban extends the current measures against the garments, with women already prohibited from wearing them in French primary and secondary schools.

It was proposed by the centre-right Republican party and is intended to reinforce 

‘laïcité’ meaning secularism, one of the key tenets of the French Constitution.

France’s Senate has voted to ban the wearing of headscarves when accompanying children on school trips (stock)

The principle forbids religious involvement in government affairs and the new law specifically bans the wearing of ‘conspicuous religious symbols’.

But in practice, the law targets Muslim mothers who often wear hijabs.

Burqas and niqabs are already banned in France but the new law takes the war against Islamic headscarves to the next level.

Jacqueline Eustache-Brinio, a Republican senator, said the amendment would close the ‘legal vacuum to fill concerning the application of the principle of secularism during field trips’, according to The Independent.

The law had been rejected by parliament’s lower house but was approved by the Senate by 186 votes to 100, with 159 abstaining.

Emmanuel Macron’s government has said it hopes to overturn the new legislation in the national assembly.

Emmanuel Macron’s government intends to overturn the legislation which passed by 186 votes to 100

Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said: ‘This bill is contrary to the Council of State’s decision and will create many problems in the development of school trips.’

It has led to fears that some areas with a high Muslim population may struggle to take pupils on school trips.

France is not the only country legislating against headscarves as earlier this week, Austria voted to ban girls from wearing them in schools.

The ban targeted ‘ideologically or religiously characterised clothing’ that covers a person’s hair. 

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