Paris, Sept 4 (EFE) – French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday defended the ban on the abaya (a robe worn by Muslim women) in schools in the face of what he called “a minority that defies the secularity” of Gallic schools, and said the government wants to “experiment” with implementing dress codes in schools.
In an interview on Monday on the popular YouTube channel Hugo Décrypte, produced by Hugo Travers, which has just over two million followers, Macron touched on issues of concern to young people, such as the environment, mental health, and education. But this year, the beginning of the school year was marked by a ban on the long robes worn by Muslims, especially in North Africa and the Middle East, called Abayas for women and Khamis for men.
“Schools must remain neutral: I don’t know what your religion is, you don’t know what mine is,” Macron argued, pointing out that the Abaya is a religious symbol used by Muslims to distinguish themselves.
The president said that teachers and school principals could not be “abandoned” in the fight to preserve secularism.
He warned that “we cannot pretend that the murder of Samuel Paty did not happen,” referring to the teacher who was killed in an act of Islamist terrorism in October 2020 after giving a lesson on freedom of expression in which he showed a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.
Macron claimed he was not trying to draw a “parallel” or stigmatize anyone but pointed out that one cannot “sweep the dust under the carpet.”
“I’m just reminding you that the worst already happened during my first five-year term,” he noted.
The president also said he was against using “eccentric” clothing in public schools and that the government would “experiment” with compulsory school uniforms or unified dress codes across all public schools. EFE