News Brief
French Parliament passes ban on religious clothing

Paris - French lawmakers approved to ban religious attire in public schools, an initiative urged by Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin. The ban, which includes Jewish skullcaps, large Christian crosses, and Islamic head scarves, was passed 494-36 in February by the 577-seat National Assembly.

The bill, which is slated to go before the Senate in early March, stipulates that “in schools, junior high schools and high schools, signs and dress that conspicuously show the religious affiliation of students are forbidden.”

The ban, which has met with strong, global criticism, is expected to take effect in September.