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General Turban Row Continues In France


Apr 4, 2005
INDIA Turban row continues in France

Noopur Tiwari
Tuesday, November 6, 2007 (France)
The strict imposition of the ban on the wearing of religious symbols in public schools continues in France and more and more girls from the Muslim community now take off their headscarves before entering the schools.

However, the Sikh community is still resisting and trying hard to get a Sikh school to sidestep the law.

These Sikhs live in a country where the law insists on separating religion from the state and where people in general find overtly religious behaviour shocking.

The ban on religious symbols from public schools in 2004 has made things even tougher for them.

''They threw me out of school. I got a letter saying I can't study at school,'' said Maha Singh.

NDTV: So where do you study now?

Maha Singh: I don't. I work with my father.

Gurdayal singh, a local businessman says he's all set to run a school that respects all French norms.

It's been two months since the inauguration of the school building but the French education authority is not allowing them to hold classes.

''The first commission asked us to make changes all of which we made and then another commission said do this and that. It seems they are creating confusion again, by saying on the one hand that you can go ahead but then using the commission to block approvals,'' said Gurdayal Singh.

For now, religious camps are held in the campus and trainers insist that this should not be viewed as religious activism but simply an effort to give back to the children their lost confidence.

''The French think that the turban is just like an object that you put on when you pray, like it is for other people in other faiths. I think it's just a bit of miscommunication and a bit of cultural ignorance,'' said Loveleen Kaur, Trainer.

For the last three years, Sikhs have been trying to convince authorities to allow their children to go to school with turbans and now it seems that getting the school running will be a long administrative battle for the Sikh community in France.


Apr 4, 2005
Is the furture of turbaned sikhs in some countries is like that they can't even complete their they now have to remain uneducated

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