Girls wear wigs to sidestepFrench headscarf ban

2nd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

BISCHHEIM, France, Sept 2 (AFP) - Two Muslim teenage girls in eastern France on Thursday found a creative way to both abide by a new law banning headscarves in state schools and keep their heads covered -- they wore wigs.

BISCHHEIM, France, Sept 2 (AFP) - Two Muslim teenage girls in eastern France on Thursday found a creative way to both abide by a new law banning headscarves in state schools and keep their heads covered -- they wore wigs.  

"It's annoying but we have to deal with it," explained 18-year-old Fatima, who has worn a headscarf since she was 10 years old, as she arrived at her high school in Bischheim north of Strasbourg.  

The teen's face was framed in a wig of straight medium-length dark brown hair and her headscarf remained tied in a knot around her neck so she could put it back on upon leaving the school.  

France's 12 million students returned to the classroom on Thursday as a controversial law banning the Islamic headscarf and other "conspicuous" religious insignia in state schools went into effect.  

Some had expected girls to spark a confrontation by wearing headscarves but very few incidents were reported, perhaps as a result of an ongoing hostage crisis in Iraq, where two French journalists are being held by Islamic militants demanding that Paris repeal the headscarf ban.  

Another 16-year-old girl in Bischheim, who asked not to be identified, also wore a wig but wore her headscarf until she reached the school gates.   "This is because I don't have any other choice," she said, adding that the wig was less than the perfect solution.  

Samia and Samira, 17-year-old twins, wore their headscarves as they entered the building.  

Another girl named Salima also chose to keep her headscarf but said she would be willing to wear a bandana if required.  

The school's principal refused to comment to reporters at the scene.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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