Muslim Mothers Barred from French School

PARIS – Dropping their kids at a nursery school, two Muslim mothers were barred from entering the school on the French island of Corsica on Monday, September 5, by two other parents for donning hijab.
The two women, wearing Muslim headscarves, “were stopped by two men, two brothers, who thought it wasn’t right that their children are not allowed to wear emblems of their religion at school and yet these women could enter with their veils,” said local prosecutor Eric Bouillard, confirming a report in the Corse-Matin newspaper, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.
Bonifacio mayor Jean-Charles Orsucci said his education official “had intervened to allow normal entry to the school”.
According to police, the parents cited a French ban on religious symbols inside the school.
Police and a schools inspector were also sent to the scene “and the situation calmed down. There was no violence, no threats, and therefore no laws broken,” said Bouillard.
Though France banned students from donning religious symbols and hijab in 2004, there is no such constraint on parents.
The incident added more fuel to latest communal tensions in France.
A recent controversy on burkini has erupted in the wake of the French authorities’ decision to ban the swimsuit in Cannes, Corsica and Le Touquet.
The decision was criticized by many commentators who see burkini as something that grants so many women access to sports and experiences they would have otherwise avoided because of health, body or religious concerns.
In December, protesters vandalized a Muslim prayer hall and trashed copies of the Qur’an after an assault on firefighters that was blamed on youths of Arab origin.

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