A French Muslim student has taken her case to the UN after she was denied entrance to school in Lyon for wearing a kimono, alleging discrimination against her religious belief.
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The incident is another in a series of controversies surrounding the French government's stance on religious attire in schools, particularly the hijab.
The 15-year-old girl from Lyon filed a complaint with Ashwini K.P., the UN's Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance. She claims that her exclusion from school on September 5th was solely due to her religious affiliation, marking yet another instance of tension surrounding religious clothing in France.
The complaint was submitted to the UN through the girl's legal representative, Nabil Boudi, who issued a statement regarding the matter on Friday. In her statement, the complainant criticized the ban on religious attire, such as the hijab, introduced by French Education Minister Gabriel Attal. She argued that the French government had not taken adequate measures to prevent discrimination against women.
Earlier, the same student lodged a complaint with the Lyon Public Prosecutor's Office, alleging discrimination based on her religious beliefs.
However, earlier this month, the Council of State upheld the government's ban on abaya.
This ruling came after Vincent Brengarth, an attorney representing the Muslim Rights Action (ADM), filed an appeal with the Council of State on August 31st, seeking the suspension of the ban. Brengarth argued that the ban infringed upon "several fundamental freedoms."
The French government has faced criticism in recent years for its policies and statements targeting Muslim communities. These have included mosque raids, investigations into charitable foundations, and the passage of an "anti-separatism" law, which imposes broad restrictions on the Muslim community.
The controversy surrounding religious attire in schools continues to be a source of tension and debate in France, with this recent case highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by Muslim students who choose to express their faith through their clothing.