Iran veil demo calls ‘death to France’
TEHRAN, Jan 23 (AFP) - Around 150 women members of Iran's Bassiji volunteer militias shouted "death to France" during weekly prayers here Friday over a proposal in France to prohibit Muslim schoolgirls from wearing headscarves, an AFP journalist said.
“We see the hand of Satan in France’s decision, and we want all Muslim women in France to know that we will be with them to the last drop of our blood,” said a declaration read out at the end of the protest.
The habitual “Death to America, Israel” was also shouted, as demonstrators carried banners reading “Islam yes, liberal and secular no.”
There were also portraits of the founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni, and his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
After months of heated debate, a committee of French experts recommended in December banning “conspicuous” religious insignia from state schools, which are secular.
This would include the hijab, or headscarf; the Jewish kippa, or skullcap, and large crucifixes.
French President Jacques Chirac came out in favor of a ban, which he wants written into law by the start of the next academic year.
Outrage has been voiced in Arab and Muslim countries, even though some intellectuals dispute claims that Muslim women are duty bound to wear the headscarf.
Numerous Iranian officials, including reformist President Mohammad Khatami and nearly 200 members of parliament, have called on the French authorities to reject the ban.
Around 150 conservative students, including women wearing the head-to-foot chador, demonstrated on December 29th in front of the French embassy in Tehran shouting “death to France” and “death to Chirac the Zionist.”
Subject: France news