First Students Expelled Over French Law

Bariman

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By ELAINE GANLEY, Associated Press Writer

PARIS - Two Muslim girls who refused to remove their head scarves in class have been expelled from school, and two more risked the same fate Wednesday as officials began punishing those who defy a new French law banning conspicuous religious symbols in public schools.

Two girls, ages 12 and 13, were expelled from a school in the eastern city of Mulhouse on Tuesday night — the first expulsions under the new law, the Education Ministry said.

Two 17-year-old girls risk the same fate when their schools convene disciplinary hearings Wednesday, said Gilles-Jean Klein, spokesman for the Academy of Strasbourg, which oversees schools in the area.

Six other disciplinary hearings are to be held this week in public schools around France, the Education Ministry said.

At the start of the week, there were 72 cases of students risking expulsion for refusing to remove conspicuous religious signs or apparel. Most are Muslim girls wearing Islamic head scarves, but Sikh boys wearing turbans are also among them.

France has proceeded cautiously with the new law, especially since two French journalists were kidnapped in Iraq (news - web sites), purportedly by the Islamic Army of Iraq. The group has demanded that the new law be lifted before it would release Christian Chesnot and Christian Malbrunot, who disappeared Aug. 20.

However, this week schools began convening hearings to decide difficult cases before the All Saints Day vacation period, which ends after the Nov. 1 Roman Catholic holiday.

Those expelled have the right to appeal their cases to the head of the academy. If they are under 16 — the legal age for leaving school — the expelled students must continue their education at a private school, by correspondence or another means, Klein said.

Some 600 cases of defiance of the law were counted at the start of the school year in September, but most have been resolved through dialogue — as called for in the law, Education Minister Francois Fillon said Tuesday.

The law, passed in March but first applied this fall, bans conspicuous religious signs and apparel, including Muslim head scarves, Jewish skull caps and large Christian crosses.

The small Sikh community in France, estimated at 6,000 people, has learned that turbans also can pose a problem. Three Sikhs at a school in Bobigny, outside Paris, have been kept out of class since September.

In the first court case concerning the law, Sikh leaders asked an administrative court to force the Louise-Michel school to convene a disciplinary council or allow the boys in class. A ruling is expected Friday.

The law is intended to uphold France's constitutionally guaranteed principle of secularism, considered undermined by a growing number of Muslim girls wearing head scarves in public school classrooms.

Authorities have also said they view the law as a way to fight rising Muslim fundamentalism in France and to protect the rights of women, widely viewed here as submissive to men if they wear head scarves.
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=6&u=/ap/20041020/ap_on_re_eu/france_head_scarves


This is so unfair. Twelve- and thirteen-year-old girls expelled. Cripes! To them it could just be a fashion statement.
 

Stage

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Well, it's nice to see that France can be over run with Neo-Nazi's but two Moeslem children can't wear religious head scarves.
 

nemo

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All right, let's put some hard facts on the table.
Number of students in the secondary system in France (roughly ages 11 to 16/17) : 5,597,000 (2003)
Number of problems with the new law in september : ~600 (most of those are solved)
Number of students risking expulsion as of now: 72
That's a non-issue.
Full stop.
 

LaPalice

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Stage said:
Well, it's nice to see that France can be over run with Neo-Nazi's but two Moeslem children can't wear religious head scarves.
Muslim children can wear religious head scarves, except in Public school. Otherwise do you really think that here the Neo Nazi have the right to wear nazi uniform ?

LaPalice.
 

pp(est)

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What people wear anywhere should be a non-issue. That people are expelled from school because of their religion is a disgrace. I can understand rules against clothing that covers the face and make identification difficult, but this is absurd.
 

LaPalice

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pp(est) said:
What people wear anywhere should be a non-issue. That people are expelled from school because of their religion is a disgrace. I can understand rules against clothing that covers the face and make identification difficult, but this is absurd.
They are not expelled because of their religion, but because they wear conspicuous religious symbol. It is forbidden to defend thesecularity of the Republic.

LaPalice.
 

Desert King

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It is not a symbol. its a neccessity.

And its unfair to compare muslim headscarves or Sikh turbans to Neo-Nazi uniforms. It is a religios compulsion and there is absolutely no message of hatred or superiority involved.
 

nemo

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Desert King said:
It is not a symbol. its a neccessity.
Depends on the point of view.

Desert King said:
And its unfair to compare muslim headscarves or Sikh turbans to Neo-Nazi uniforms.
Indeed.
Desert King said:
It is a religios compulsion and there is absolutely no message of hatred or superiority involved.
Probably, but 'religious compulsions' of any kind are not recognized as such by French laws and are banned from state-run schools when they materialize under the form of conspicuous symbols.
 

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In all fairness, I don't think France has much of a choice. A report two days ago warned that anti-Semitism and racism pose a radical threat to democracy in France. Earlier this year, a report on rising anti-Semitism in Europe singled out France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and UK as points of serious concerns. I think Chirac appealed last month for greater relgious tolerance.

It is in the vital domestic interest of France to minimize religious influence within its government and political institution, which includes schools. Failure to do so would likely increase radicalism and intolerance.

40 years ago, the US National Guard had to enforce democracy in schools in America, and we're better for it. France might very well be experiencing a similar problem.
 

pp(est)

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nemo, just by coincidence French laws however do address Christian religious compulsions - for instance I am sure it is illegal to go to school nude or by leaving places of the human body that Christians deem that must be covered uncovered. The law even specifically left open to carry the single Christian symbol ordinarily carried - a small cross.
 

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nemo said:
Depends on the point of view.
Exactly. and from the Sikh's point of view, there is no way around it.

nemo said:
Probably, but 'religious compulsions' of any kind are not recognized as such by French laws and are banned from state-run schools when they materialize under the form of conspicuous symbols
.
Recognized by law or not, they are compulsions as far as the people are concerned. They are not forcing anyone to do anything, nor are they forcing their religion upon others.
 

chrisvalla

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We've had students here expelled for the way they dress (and refusing to abide by school district standards)... it was only a matter of time before the 'rules' that were passed were enforced.
 

nemo

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pp(est) said:
nemo, just by coincidence French laws however do address Christian religious compulsions - for instance I am sure it is illegal to go to school nude or by leaving places of the human body that Christians deem that must be covered uncovered. The law even specifically left open to carry the single Christian symbol ordinarily carried - a small cross.
Yes, and it's no coincidence. In France, like probably in most Western countries, decency standards and dressing habits stem in part from christian traditions but (at least here) they have quite completely lost their religious value. We have a thouroughly secularized society, where religions as such have no say (in theory) when it comes to state and official affairs.
Not to say they are ignored - catholic, protestant, orthodox, jewish and muslim faiths (among others probably but I lack time to dig more data right now) are all officialy recognized as religions by the state. More often than not, their official representatives are consulted when laws are passed that might affect them.
And yes, a small cross might be carried, as might a small crescent or a small David star. But you'd run into trouble trying to attend school with a foot-long cross at your neck - conspicuous.
Out of curiosity : are there any countries at all where going to school naked is allright?
 

nemo

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Desert King said:
Exactly. and from the Sikh's point of view, there is no way around it.



Recognized by law or not, they are compulsions as far as the people are concerned. They are not forcing anyone to do anything, nor are they forcing their religion upon others.
Those are valid arguments up to a certain point. That point being the law. Whatever your faith and its religious obligations, the legal obligation of abiding by the law always prevails.
 

piero1971

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Desert King said:
And its unfair to compare muslim headscarves or Sikh turbans to Neo-Nazi uniforms.

HEY! Nazi uniforms look good!!!

:D :D


Iggy pop was once asked a question on a popular French TV program - Who do you prefer, hitler or Stalin. (most people answer Stalin to which the interviewer says "why because he killed more people than hitler?) and Iggy Pop answers : "hitler, he had much better dressing style!".

second time, imho that Iggy pop comes up in these forums...
 

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What will be even more interesting is that Muslims teach that the law of Allah, i.e., the Muslim religion, supersedes man-made laws.

This was discovered in America after 9/11, when the curriculims of Muslim schools in this country were exdamined and it was found that, protected by our Consitution, the students were being taught civil disobediance.

Remember the Nigerian woman who was going to be stoned to death for adultery, despite the fact that it is illegal to do this under Nigerian civil law? But it was Muslim law that the Muslims wanted to execute her under. BTW - isn't it really strange that Mulim males have no such standards to live up to? I am fionding it harder and hardwer to have any vestige of respect or tolerance for Muslim males, who lead delusional lives based on selfish self-interest at the best of times.

The Muslim religion is going to be the problem in the years to come, and sooner or later every nation will have to confront it, most likely by force, since the Muslims recognize no other option.

Should America have banned Muslim dress after 9/11? Many thought so, and many still do today.
 

nemo

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That would be generalizing perhaps a bit too much. If you consider the situation here in France, the fact is that the overwhelming majority of my muslim co-citizens have no problem abiding by the law and in no way would venture breaking it because of religious prescriptions. For one, the law on conspicuous symbols showed at least this, given the very few problematic cases that arose. And all representative muslim councils, though finding themselves at odds with the law, didn't prone civil disobediance. It might point to a smaller than feared audience for islamist extremists (there are some, obviously) among French muslims. In my opinion, it's an indication that, contrary to popular belief and prejudices, French muslim are to be considered and consider themselves French citizens before anything else.
 

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Nemo, according to my own interpretation, I agree with you: Personally I do not believe that there is a major infringement of Islam at least. Sikhism I do not know as well about. But I do know that certain adherents to both faiths believe that they absolutely cannot go without their head cover.

I think in principle we agree: it is ok to practice religious obligations, as long as you dont infringe on rights of others and you obey the law. where we disagree is, whether the law is justified.

On the other hand, I think the following is hate filled rubbish that is not relevant to the thread and is simply arrogance:

MountainMan said:
What will be even more interesting is that Muslims teach that the law of Allah, i.e., the Muslim religion, supersedes man-made laws.

This was discovered in America after 9/11, when the curriculims of Muslim schools in this country were exdamined and it was found that, protected by our Consitution, the students were being taught civil disobediance.

Remember the Nigerian woman who was going to be stoned to death for adultery, despite the fact that it is illegal to do this under Nigerian civil law? But it was Muslim law that the Muslims wanted to execute her under. BTW - isn't it really strange that Mulim males have no such standards to live up to? I am fionding it harder and hardwer to have any vestige of respect or tolerance for Muslim males, who lead delusional lives based on selfish self-interest at the best of times.

The Muslim religion is going to be the problem in the years to come, and sooner or later every nation will have to confront it, most likely by force, since the Muslims recognize no other option.

Should America have banned Muslim dress after 9/11? Many thought so, and many still do today.
Where do I start?

1) Muslims have to live by the law of the land they live in. Unless it is in direct opposition to Islamic law. Since most countries today have laws based on judeo-christian values, these cases are extremely rare (unknown to me)

2) What schools taught civil disobedience? I have heard of no such school

3) What exactly is Muslim dress? why should it be banned?
 
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Desert King said:
Where do I start?

1) Muslims have to live by the law of the land they live in. Unless it is in direct opposition to Islamic law. Since most countries today have laws based on judeo-christian values, these cases are extremely rare (unknown to me)

2) What schools taught civil disobedience? I have heard of no such school

3) What exactly is Muslim dress? why should it be banned?
Like Christianity, it depends on interpretation, and whether or not the teachings are taken out of context. Bad things have been done in the name of Christianity despite the fact that properly contexted Christian scripture forbids such activity (like blowing up abortion clinics). Some Muslims teach obediance, some civil disobediance, depending on their interpretation. I have not read the Koran in it's entirety, so I will not state which of the two is the "contextual" approach.
 

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pirateship1982 said:
Like Christianity, it depends on interpretation, and whether or not the teachings are taken out of context. Bad things have been done in the name of Christianity despite the fact that properly contexted Christian scripture forbids such activity (like blowing up abortion clinics). Some Muslims teach obediance, some civil disobediance, depending on their interpretation. I have not read the Koran in it's entirety, so I will not state which of the two is the "contextual" approach.
I think you hit the nail on the head -- its the interpretation of the religion, not the teaching. And unfortunatley I do believe that the "black sheep" always get the most attention. The masses of moderates are easy to overlook when the extremists are making so much noise.
 
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