French education minister reignites row over Muslim headscarf


French education minister reignites row over Muslim headscarf

A fresh political row has erupted over the Muslim headscarf in France after the education minister said he wanted to avoid having mothers in hijab as volunteers on school outings. Jean-Michel Blanquer criticized the country’s largest parents association for using a picture of a mother in a headscarf on a pamphlet under the words: “Yes I go on school trips, so what? Secularism is about welcoming all parents without exception.”

Blanquer told BFMTV that even though French law did not ban mothers in headscarves from going on school trips as volunteers, he wanted to avoid this “as much as possible”. He said he encouraged “dialogue” in which head teachers would ask mothers to remove their scarves. He said the parents association had made a “regrettable” mistake by using the picture.

The parents association that produced the pamphlet, the FCPE, said the minister was wrong. Its co-president Rodrigo Arenas said: “We’re on the side of the law and we’re simply here to inform parents of their rights. “The country’s state council has ruled that parents are free to wear what they like. This means mothers on school trips can wear headscarves. And yet there are still school trips in France which are cancelled by teachers who won’t allow mothers in headscarves to accompany children.

Source: The Guardian

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