France: Muslim girl banned from school for skirt being too LONG
By: Sara Malm
Source: Mail Online
A 15-year-old Muslim student has been banned from attending class at a school in northeastern France after it was ruled that her black maxi skirt was ‘too religious’.
The student, identified only as Sarah, was stopped from going to class earlier this month by the head teacher who reportedly felt the full-length skirt ‘conspicuously’ showed religious affiliation.
The school argues that the skirt fell foul of France’s strict secularity laws governing state schools, which bans students from wearing hijabs, kippahs or large Christian crosses.
Speaking to a local newspaper, in Charleville-Mezieres, a town near the Belgian border, ‘Sarah’ said her skirt was ‘nothing special, it’s very simple, there’s nothing conspicuous. There is no religious sign whatsoever.’
The story has unsurprisingly caused outrage in France and across Europe, with many arguing that had it been a non-Muslim girl wearing the skirt it would have been deemed as ‘trendy’ and ‘hippy chic’.
Her story was trending on Twitter in France Tuesday with the hashtag #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux, translated into English as ‘I wear my skirt as I please.’
‘If it’s worn by a ‘white’ person, it’s hippy chic, if it’s a Muslim, it becomes conspicuous #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux,’ one user tweeted.
User Tonicha Upham posted: ‘Wear a short skirt and you’re “asking for it”, wear a long skirt and you’re a threat to secularism. Go figure. #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux’
Claire M, using Twitter handle @Claire_Samra, wrote: ’70 years ago in #France women got the #righttovote, today it seems they can’t even dress the way they please…! #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux’
Another added: ‘I don’t know French but I know racism and I think that’s enough! #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux’
Pictures comparing ‘Sarah’s’ outfit to the recent full-length dress choice of Marine Le-Pen, the leader of anti-immigrant far-right party National Front, also began circulating on social media last night.
The regional education office defended the school’s decision saying that the girl had not been expelled, but simply asked to go home and change into a ‘neutral’ outfit.
‘The girl was not excluded, she was asked to come back with a neutral outfit and it seems her father did not want the student to come back to school,’ local education official Patrice Dutot said.
He added that the student always removed her hijab before entering school premises, as is specifically stipulated by law.
According to the 2004 law that governs secularity in schools, veils, the Jewish kippa or large Christian crosses are all banned in educational establishments, but ‘discreet religious signs’ are allowed.
A statement released by the regional education office insinuated that wearing the skirt could have been part of a concerted ‘provocation.’
‘When it comes to concerted protest actions by students, which follow other more visible incidents linked for instance to wearing the veil, the secular framework for education must be firmly reminded and guaranteed,’ it said.
According to the CCIF Islamophobia watchdog, some 130 students were rejected from class last year for outfits deemed too openly religious.