News

French Muslim Schoolgirl Sent Home for Skirt Being Too Long

French Muslim Schoolgirl Sent Home for Skirt Being Too Long

Female students at a private Muslim school in Toulouse/Getty Images
Female students at a private Muslim school in Toulouse/Getty Images

A 15-year-old Muslim girl in France was sent home from school for wearing a long black skirt after it was deemed a violation of the country’s ban on religious clothing in state schools.

The girl, named as Sarah K, was sent home twice in one month from the Léo Lagrange High School in the eastern town of Charleville-Mézières. According to a local education official, Patrice Dutot, the girl was “asked to come back with neutral clothing and it seems her father did not want the pupil to return to school.”

Sarah K told local newspaper L’Ardennais that her skirt was “nothing special, it’s very simple, there’s nothing conspicuous. There’s no religious sign at all.”

France’s controversial 2004 ban on religious symbols and clothing in public schools covers all “ostentatious signs of religion”, including the Jewish yarmulke, Christian crosses, Muslim veils and Sikh turbans.

However, the ban is perceived by many to disproportionately target the Islamic veil, to the point where it is often referred to as the “French veil ban” in international media. It is understood that Sarah K was not wearing a headscarf when she was sent home, having removed it before entering the school.

Sarah K’s story prompted widespread outrage both inside and outside the country. At one point, the hashtag #JePorteMaJupeCommeJeVeux (“I wear my skirt as I please”) was trending on Twitter in France. The hashtag has had more than 45,000 tweets since Tuesday.

According to Léo Lagrange’s head teacher, the decision to send Sarah K home came in the context of “other more visible incidents related to the wearing of headscarves.” Approximately 130 schoolgirls were sent home last year in the country for wearing long skirts according to the Collective Against Islamophobia in France.

In 2011, France banned the full-face veil – also known as the niqab or burqa – in public places, and was the first European country to do so. The ban attracted wide criticism, particularly from outside the country, from those who saw it as an affront to freedom of expression.

However, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the ban in July 2014 after a case against it was raised by an unnamed 24-year-old French Muslim woman. The woman argued that the ban was “inhumane and degrading and against the right of respect for family and private life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion”, also labelling the ban as “discriminatory”.

ISIS Claims First Attack in the USA
Surveillance Cameras to be Deployed Nationwide in Egypt

Subscribe to our newsletter


News
@daliaeldaba

Dalia is an Egyptian writer and journalist. Currently, she is particularly interested in raising awareness about the historical and current labour and feminist movements in the Arab world.

More in News

A snapshot from a video released on Twitter by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis on August 28, 2014.

Australia Declares ‘Ansar Bait Al-Maqdis’ a Terrorist Organization

Egyptian StreetsDecember 10, 2016
nieuwe-groep-claimt-aanslag-cairo-961x658

Seven Killed in Giza, Kafr El-Sheikh Explosions Targeting Police

Egyptian StreetsDecember 10, 2016
1000_1472412595osama_mursi_22415

Former President Morsi’s Son Arrested

Egyptian StreetsDecember 9, 2016
azzasoliman

Egyptian Women’s Rights Activist Azza Soliman Released on Bail after Arrest

Egyptian StreetsDecember 8, 2016
Credit: Martin Roemers/Anastasia Photo

Professors and Doctors Among 45 Arrested in Egypt Organ Trafficking Ring

Egyptian StreetsDecember 6, 2016
05black

Egypt’s Foreign Reserves Rise to $US 23 Billion

Egyptian StreetsDecember 6, 2016
1200x-1-1024x697-1

Naguib Sawiris Steps Down as CEO of Orascom in Surprise Resignation

Egyptian StreetsDecember 6, 2016
One of the leaked images allegedly from a Heinz Egypt factory.

Senior Heinz Egypt Employee Arrested After 62 Tonnes of Rotten Tomatoes Found

Egyptian StreetsDecember 6, 2016
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2016 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.