Committee Recommends Ban of "Conspicious" Religious Symbols in Public Schools

December 11, 2003

Source: United Press International

On December 11, 2003 United Press International reported, "Muslim headscarves, Jewish skullcaps and large crosses are to be banned from French public schools, according to a report presented to President Jacques Chirac Thursday. More 'discreet' religious symbols, such as small crosses, Muslim Hands of Fatima and Stars of David should be allowed, a 20-member committee headed by former education minister Bernard Stasi suggested after a three-month study of this issue. Chirac will announce next week whether or not he supports putting these suggestions into law. He has previous taken a tough line on France's separation between church and state...Perhaps as a concession to Muslims and Jews, the Stasi committee proposed making their highest feasts -- Eid and Yom Kippur, respectively -- annual holidays at public schools, just like Christmas. Muslim and Jewish students should also be served meals according to their religions' dietary requirements at public schools."