A Muslim man whose daughter was sent home twice allegedly threatened to kill the headteacher for imposing an abaya dress ban at a French school. The father of the high school student allegedly has been making the death threats over the phone.
Daily Mail (h/t Nita) According to C News, the daughter attends Ambroise-Brugière High School in Clermont-Ferrand, which has nearly 1,300 students. She was turned away from the school gates twice after she refused to follow the government’s new dress code policy.
On the first occasion, the student wore the abaya, a loose-fitting long robe, to school but was sent back home. But on Thursday, when she showed up to school again wearing an abaya, she was prohibited from entering the establishment.
The school’s action angered her father, who ended up calling the headteacher seeking an explanation and allegedly making the death threats. Wasting no time, the school swiftly alerted the National Education hierarchy, and a complaint was lodged.
Since the incident, the man has been taken to the Clermont-Ferrand police station and is under police custody while enquiries continue.
Gabriel Attal, Minister of National Education and Youth of France, has also shown support for the headteacher for following the government protocol.
While announcing the new measure, Mr Attal said: “When you walk into a classroom, you shouldn’t be able to identify the pupils’ religion just by looking at them. I have decided that the abaya can no longer be worn in schools.’
The country also has a strict ban on religious signs in state schools and government buildings because they violate laws on secularism.
However, the government’s actions have sparked a debate among religious leaders across the country. Abdallah Zekri, vice president of the French Council for Muslim Worship, said the abaya ‘has never been a religious symbol anyway’.
Instead, he said the ban was yet another example of politicians using dress favouring women and girls to attack some five million Muslims living in France.
President Emmanuel Macron defended the controversial measure, saying there was a “minority” in France who “hijack a religion and challenge the republic and secularism,” leading to the “worst consequences” such as the murder three years ago of teacher Samuel Paty for showing Mohamed caricatures during a civics education class.