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French Muslims urge reconsideration of headscarf ban

[JURIST] France's largest Muslim organization, the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF) [organization website, in French], has argued at a national conference of French Muslims that the state should reconsider its ban on Islamic headscarves [BBC Q&A on headscarf ban; JURIST news archive on religious dress] in schools and recognize Islamic holy days. The French Education Ministry [official website, in French] ordered the ban on "conspicuous religious signs" in state schools last March, in an attempt to slow the rising influence of radical Islamists on the nation's youth. National legislation on the subject took affect this past September. UOIF Secretary-General Fouad Alaoui called for the freedom for girls to choose what to wear and for recognition of Islam's main feast days, including Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha feasts following Ramadan and the Haj pilgrimage, and the Prophet Mohammed's birthday, Seven of France's 13 legal holidays are Christian holidays. Read Alaoui's speech [in French], delivered Saturday. Reuters has more.

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