Three Muslim girls have been expelled from high schools in France for refusing to remove their headscarves. They join two other girls expelled on Tuesday for the same reason. The French law, which came into effect on September 2, bans conspicuous religious symbols in public schools. The ban is meant to protect France's securlarism. French Education Minister Francois Fillon has told schools to begin proceedings against the 72 students who are now breaking the law, only a few of whom have been expelled as yet. Earlier this week, three Sikh students began a court proceeding over their refusal to take off their turbans. The court is expected to reach a verdict on Friday. Meanwhile two French journalists remain hostages in Iraq after the French government refused to accept the kidnappers' demands to overturn the headscarf ban, as demanded by the kidnappers. For background on the headscarf ban, see this legislative dossier from the French Senate. BBC has more.