TITLE

Comment

AUTHOR(S)
Lancaster, Pat
PUB. DATE
February 2004
SOURCE
Middle East;Feb2004, Issue 342, p5
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The French government threats to impose a ban on the wearing of the Islamic headscarf, or hijab, in schools has created fury in sections of the country's Muslim community. The centre-right government of France has taken a hard line against those opposing the proposed legislation, insisting the country must uphold the republican values enshrined in the 1789 revolution and preserve its secular identity. In a speech recommending the ban should become law, President of France Jacques Chirac warned that if France chooses to capitulate to the will of its religious communities, it would lose its soul. However, this is by no means a one sided debate, while some who profess to have no religious beliefs are outraged at what they see as a serious threat to the infringement of civil liberty, others, including Dalil Boubaker, head of the leading Paris mosque and president of the officially sanctioned umbrella organisation of Muslim groups in France, supports the ban and has attempted to discourage Muslims from participating. Many French feminists, including prominent Muslim women, also support the ban, arguing that the hijab is a patriarchal symbol, imposed on Muslim women by male family members.
ACCESSION #
12261380

 

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