Abayas, kamis… While the newspaper L’Opinion speaks of an “epidemic” of Islamic outfits in high schools causing “several incidents”, the Minister of National Education Pap Ndiaye indicates that his services are currently carrying out an assessment.
On June 14, Pap Ndiaye was questioned during his first press conference on the increase, worrying according to some, of religious symbols at school. “We are in the process of collecting and reporting a certain amount of information to have a very synthetic view of this situation and to be able to characterize it calmly (..) We have quarterly reports. We are in normal time, which consists of move up to the academies, then nationally. I will discuss this with the rectors in two days to have as clear and calm a vision as possible. The President of the Republic alluded to it a fortnight ago. We are in a reasonable time to be able to act“, replied the new Minister of National Education. “We are very well equipped to respond to this phenomenon, but we still have to measure it and assess it well on a national scale. added Pap Ndiaye who recalls that establishments can at their level, to apply “republican laws on the prohibition of religious signs of an ostensible and proselytizing nature in schools“.
Religious signs at school: what are the numbers?
This is a study on the presence of religious signs in schools which set fire to the powder. Indeed, an investigation by the newspaper l’Opinion revealed incidents that had occurred in several academies in recent months due to a “epidemic” of Islamic attire such as abayas and kamis. These long dresses or tunics falling to the feet and worn by men “have appeared at the doors of several high schools” specifies the newspaper. A phenomenon confirmed by a note from territorial intelligence revealed on June 14 by RTL which evokes 144 wearing of ostentatious religious symbols by students between January and March, i.e. 50% more than the previous quarter.
Religious symbols at school prohibited?
During a visit to Marseille on June 2 alongside Pap Ndiaye, Emmanuel Macron reacted by recalling the principles of secularism: “For all the students in our schools, there are no religious signs whatsoever.” The President of the Republic demanded “clarity on all the numbers” and asked this “that the law of the Republic applies”. Concretely, the text of the law concerning the principle of secularism specifies that “in public schools, colleges and high schools, the wearing of signs or outfits by which students ostensibly manifest a religious affiliation is prohibited”.
The Head of State, who supports Pap Ndiaye, strongly criticized since his appointment as Minister of National Education and Youth, had also tempered: “as with any subject, when there are “epidemics”, there must be symptoms and we measure. So we are constantly in a position to measure this information”. Thus, one cannot speak of an “epidemic” until a more precise investigation has been carried out at the national level. “On this I will be very clear, the policy I want to conduct is always the same, that of the truth. There must be no taboos, no prohibitions and no fantasy either. I want truth, clarity on all the numbers. And then I want Republic law to apply.”, he added. “And the law is very clear: for all students in our schools, there are no religious signs whatsoever. We will watch, measure and respond with the utmost clarity to all situations that do not respect the laws of the Republic”.
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