French Sikhs go to court over religious symbol ban

Three Sikh students in France who refused to remove their turbans under the country's new law banning religious signs and apparel in schools have brought the first case to take the issue to court. The Sikh community asked an administrative court Tuesday to re-admit the students back into classes or force their school to convene a disciplinary council to break the deadlock over the turbans. French Education Minister Francois Fillon said there are still 70 cases of students defying the law — mainly involving girls refusing to remove their Islamic headscarves. The law intended to uphold France's constitutionally guaranteed principle of secularism is mainly focused on Muslim girls who wear headscarves to school. France's small Sikh community was all but forgotten during the debate over the law. The court is expected to reach a decision on Wednesday. For background on the headscarf ban, see this legislative dossier from the French Senate. The Sikhnetwork has more information on the ban's effects on Sikhs here. AP has more.

 

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