Laicite, Women’s Rights, and the Headscarf Issue in France

By: Raja El Habti

“The recent French law banning visible religious signs that display a student’s religious affiliation in public schools has unleashed heated debates on wearing the Islamic headscarf/veil/hijab (used here interchangeably). Although this law does not apparently target the French Muslim community in particular and will affect other religious minorities such as the Jewish and Sikh communities, it is obvious that it will affect essentially Muslim girls wearing hijab.”

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