NEW YORK, Feb 26 (AFP) – A proposed French ban on headscarves and other overt religious symbols in state schools would violate the rights to freedom of religion and expression, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.
The French Senate is scheduled on March 2 to debate the bill that would ban signs and dress linked to students’ religious affiliations.
HRW executive director Kenneth Roth called the proposal “an unwarranted infringement on the right to religious practice.”
“For many Muslims, wearing a headscarf is not only about religious expression, it is about religious obligation,” he said in a statement.
Under international law, said Roth, states can only limit religious practices when there is “a compelling public safety reason, when the manifestation of religious beliefs would impinge on the rights of others, or when it serves a legitimate educational function.”
Subject: France news