Following the decision to ban the robe-like garment in schools starting in the upcoming academic year, French President Emmanuel Macron declared on Friday that authorities will be “uncompromising” in their enforcement.
The latest in a string of divisive limitations on Muslim attire in France, the ban was declared by the minister of education. Several opposition MPs criticised it, including Danièle Obono, who labelled it a “new Islamophobic campaign.”
Macron reiterated his position in a press conference after touring a professional school in the southern French area of Vaucluse.
He repeated that under the French ideal of “lacité,” which roughly translates to “secularism,” “religious symbols of any kind have no place” in schools.
“Schools in our country are secular, free, and compulsory. But they are secular. Because this is the very condition that makes citizenship possible and therefore religious symbols of any kind have no place in them. And we will vigorously defend this secularism,” Macron remarked.
Teachers and heads of French schools “will not be left alone” when it comes to enforcing the ban, Macron said, adding that French authorities will be “uncompromising on this subject.”