France’s top court rejects appeal to overturn abaya ban


The highest court on French soil ruled that the government’s controversial ban on the abaya is legal, Middle East Monitor reports, September 25. 

An appeal, by lawyer, Vincent Brengarth, was filed to the Council of State (Conseil D’Etat) in an attempt to overturn France’s ruling on the religious garment. 

Brengarth is a lawyer for Muslim Rights Action (ADM), a legal organisation that fights against discrimination towards France’s Islamic community. The lawyer noted the ban on the abaya, amongst other religious pieces of clothing, violated “several fundamental freedoms”. 

The decision to ban the garment was announced last month when Gabriel Attal, France’s Education Minister, announced that wearing it would be forbidden in state schools. 

The abaya is an Islamic dress worn by some Muslim women in France as well as in many countries in the Muslim World. 

On August 27, Attal said that he can no longer allow the wearing of the garment in schools and that “When you walk into a classroom, you shouldn’t be able to identify the pupils” 

The comments were made in an interview with French television channel, TF1. 

Appeals to revoke the abaya ban were also filed by the Sud Education Paris, La Voix Lyceenne, and Le Poing Leve Lycee unions. 

Regarding the ADM’s appeal that was rejected, the Council of State said, “This ban does not seriously violate and is not manifestly illegal to the right to respect for private life, the freedom of religion, the right to education.” 

The move to ban religious garments in schools and in public places more generally by past and previous French governments has stoked outrage, particularly amongst the country’s 5 million-strong Muslim community. 



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