an association refers the matter to the Council of State

an association refers the matter to the Council of State

The association Action Droits des Musulmans (ADM) urgently appealed to the Council of State on Friday, September 1, asking it to suspend the ban on the abaya at school, which risks creating “ethnic profiling”according to the appeal filed by the lawyers.

Three days before the start of the school year, the association asked the summary judge to “suspend the decision of August 27, 2023” of the Minister of Education prohibiting the wearing of this long traditional dress in public schools, colleges and high schools, according to the appeal filed by Me William Bourdon and Vincent Brengarth.

For the plaintiffs, this decision “violates the rights of the child, because it mainly targets children presumed to be Muslim, thus creating a risk of ethnic profiling at school”. “This restriction of the abaya risks further stigmatizing Muslims and undermining their fundamental rights on the social, cultural and educational levels”they add.

“Attack on freedom of worship”

In practice, these measures “will lead school staff to unfairly target young girls based on their Arab or African ethnic origins”. Such targeting “is counterproductive and could lead to the exclusion of young girls from the education system”according to the appeal.

Another argument developed: the students concerned will be prohibited from wearing “allowing them to express their attachment to a culture or region” geographical. “However, such an attitude in no way undermines secularism”add the plaintiffs.

The summary denounces a ban “formulated in a vague and broad manner”. With the consequence that “the absence of any indication allowing the outfits to be defined” incriminated could target students simply wishing to wear “loose clothing likely to be described as abayas or qamis”.

The plaintiffs therefore fear that “this ban encourages National Education staff to require students to disclose their religious beliefs” to determine the religious character or not of their outfit. What would constitute “a serious and manifestly illegal attack on the right to respect for the private life of students”.

“This unjustified interference in the exercise of Muslim worship is a serious and manifestly illegal attack on freedom of worship”adds the appeal.

Friday in Orange, Emmanuel Macron assured that “we must be intractable” to ban the abaya and qamis at school, and promised that the government “won’t let anything go”.

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