The Council of State validated on Thursday the ban on the wearing of the abaya at school, a garment which according to it falls under “ a logic of religious affirmation », announced the high administrative court in a press release.
Referred to as a matter of urgency, the judge rejected the appeal of the association Action Droits des Musulmans (ADM), which requested the suspension of this ban in the name of a risk of discrimination and infringement of rights. But for the Council of State this ban “ does not seriously and manifestly unlawfully infringe the right to respect for private life, freedom of worship, the right to education and respect for the best interests of the child or the principle of non-discrimination “.
The judge in fact considered that wearing the abaya to school or qamis (its masculine equivalent) was written “ in a logic of religious affirmation, as this emerges in particular from the remarks made during the dialogues engaged with the students “. Gold, “ the law prohibits, within the confines of public schools, the wearing by pupils of signs or outfits ostensibly manifesting, either by themselves or because of the behavior of the pupil, a membership of a religion », recalls the court.
The Minister of National Education Gabriel Attal announced on August 27 the ban on wearing the abaya in public schools, colleges and high schools. The minister immediately greeted on X (ex-Twitter) “ an important decision for the School of the Republic “, who must “ welcome all students, with the same rights and the same duties, without discrimination or stigmatization “.
Conversely, ADM lawyer Vincent Brengarth lamented “ poverty of motivation » of the decision, considering that the judge “ absolutely did not take into consideration the testimonies ” in ” denying the traditional dimension » of the abaya. This question of the religious aspect or not of the abaya had dominated the hearing on Tuesday, the plaintiffs speaking of traditional clothing and in certain cases of ” trend “. But for the Ministry of National Education this garment “ immediately recognizes the wearer as belonging to the Muslim religion “.
The judge in summary proceedings therefore followed the ministry, emphasizing that wearing the abaya “ resulted in a sharp increase in the number of reports during the 2022-2023 school year “. In a press release, the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM) “ we acknowledged » of this decision. But he warned about certain “ intolerable behavior on the part of some members of the educational body towards students of the Muslim faith », repressed according to him because they were wearing « a kimono or a simple loose shirt and pants “.
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