Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

French Lawmakers Banned From Wearing Religious Symbols In Parliament

French lawmakers have been banned from wearing religious symbols in parliament under a proposal submitted by a member of President Emmanuel Macron’s party.

On Wednesday, the National Assembly’s administrative office adopted the proposal of En Marche’s François de Rugy, which states that in an effort to “maintain an atmosphere of neutrality” in the parliament does not permit the wearing of “ostensible” religious symbols, the AFP news agency reported.

Also forbidden are any kind of uniform, logos, or commercial messages or political slogans.

In 2004, parliament passed a law forbidden the wearing of religious symbols in public schools. It is only partially enforced, with many pupils wearing Muslim head covers and kippahs.

In 2016, Meyer Habib, a French Jewish lawmaker, and Claude Goasguen, a non-Jewish one, were filmed wearing the Jewish head covering briefly in the corridors of the National Assembly after a Jewish community leader from Marseille called on Jews to remove their kippahs as a security measure following a spate of anti-Semitic stabbings in the southern city.

Last year, Ali Ramlati, a Muslim woman from Macron’s party, was pictured wearing a head covering in her official picture on the website of the National Assembly. The picture exposed the party to criticism by people who said it obscured France’s strict separation between religion and state.

In 2016, dozens of French municipalities banned the burkini, a full-body swimsuit favored by Muslim women, with the backing of the French government before a court ruled the action was unconstitutional. Many Europeans believed the ban violated personal and religious freedoms, but its supporters regarded the burkini and other clothing favored by Muslims as a political statement.

Marine Le Pen, the leading candidate in the presidential race in France, said she would ban Muslim head coverings if she were elected. Asked whether she would do the same for the kippah, the head of the far-right National Front party said she would do so to preserve equality.

Engage

  • Events

    Haart to Haart

    Virtual

    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.