Creating new perspectives since 2009

Muslim girl turned away from school in France for wearing hijab files complaint with UN

September 22, 2023 at 8:27 pm

A group gathered in front of the French Embassy protests against the ban on abaya (long dress) in schools in France in Vienna, Austria on September 16, 2023 [Aşkın Kıyağan/Anadolu Agency]

A Muslim student, who had been turned away from school for wearing a kimono, a Japanese garment, in France, has filed a complaint with the UN over being “discriminated against” due to her religious affiliation, Anadolu Agency reports.

The controversy over the French government’s stance against hijab in schools continues, with many students being turned away for wearing loose over-garments.

The 15-year-old girl, living in the French city of Lyon, has sent a complaint to Ashwini K.P, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, over “discrimination she faced on the grounds of her religious affiliation.”

On 5 September, she was sent home for wearing a kimono.

Her complaint has been sent to the UN via her lawyer, Nabil Boudi, who released a statement on Friday.

Criticising the abaya ban introduced by French Education Minister, Gabriel Attal, the complainant said they think that the French government has not taken the necessary steps to prevent all kinds of discrimination against women.

Earlier, the female student also filed a complaint with the Lyon Public Prosecutor’s Office on the grounds that she was “discriminated against due to her religious affiliation”.

Earlier this month, the Council of State upheld the government’s abaya ban, declaring it legal.

The Court’s ruling came after Vincent Brengarth, a lawyer for the Muslim Rights Action (ADM), filed an appeal on 31 August with the Council of State to seek the suspension of the ban on the abaya, which he said, violated “several fundamental freedoms”.

The controversial move sparked a backlash against the government, which has been criticised in recent years for targeting Muslims with statements and policies, including raids on mosques and charitable foundations, and an “anti-separatism” law that imposes broad restrictions on the community.

READ: Abaya ban violates secularism principle, lawyer asserts as France top Court hears appeal