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French Government Pushes to Bar Hijab from Universities - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Paris- French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, yesterday, set off a social bomb which led to a new controversy taking over the country. Valls moved towards banning headscarf wearing Muslim women from entering universities, which was immediately rejected by the French Minister of Higher Education Najat Vallaud Belkacem. She reminded Valls that the situation concerned “adult women.”

Valls wishes to pass a bill which bans women wearing the Hijab (headscarf worn by Muslim women) from entering universities, or higher education facilities, given that the ban on wearing headscarves has already been passed for primary and secondary schools.

The law was based on the prohibition the display of religious slogans in schools, which was passed during Jacques Chirac’s term in office.

Valls told Libération, French newspaper, that a majority of France’s citizens allegedly doubt that Islamic beliefs suit the country’s values. He also expressed his hope in showing that Islam, a world-spread religion and the second most popular adopted creed in France, would meet the depth of democracy and principles of a republic, especially the values on gender equality.

In addition to the denial put forth by Belkacem- who is of Moroccan origins- other officials confirmed the needlessness of banning hijab wearing women from universities, as they also attempted to reduce the impact of the incident by regarding it insignificant, a stance that heads of universities agreed on as well.