Muslim Organization Reopens Debate on Headscarves, Holidays

March 27, 2005

Source: Reuters

On March 27, 2005 Reuters reported, "France's largest Muslim organization has urged the state to rethink its ban on Islamic headscarves in schools and to recognize Islamic holy days, reopening a debate most French thought was closed. The Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF), broadest of several groups representing Europe's largest Muslim minority, charged at the weekend that Paris limited religious freedom by expelling veiled schoolgirls and ignoring three Muslim feast days. The Education Ministry declared a ban on religious symbols in state schools a success two weeks ago, but groups canvassing support for private Muslim schools at the UOIF annual convention argued the divisive issue had not gone away."