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  French ban on headscarves stands
Updated 30 August 2004, 16.52
Peaceful protesters marching against the French law earlier this year

France has said it will not scrap a new law banning school girls from wearing Muslim headscarves called Hijabs.

Kidnappers in Iraq have taken two French journalists hostage and demanded that France scrap the law before it comes into effect this week.

France's foreign minister has flown to the Middle East to try and get the men released by talking with politicians.

The controversial law will start to be enforced when schools return from their summer break this week.


Muslims across the world are against the French ban. This protest took place in Indonesia
The law bans all wearing of obvious religious signs such as Muslim headscarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses by any pupil at school in France.

Equal

The French Government says it wants to make all children equal.

It says that as schools in France are not religious such things should not be worn.

Many Muslims and Muslim leaders around the world don't want the ban enforced - they say it is the right of any Muslim girl to wear the headscarf.

48 hours

The kidnappers in Iraq are believed to be the same group of extremists who captured and killed an Italian journalist there last week.

A film they sent a television channel said the kidnappers wanted France to reverse the ban within 48 hours.

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Muslim girls facing headscarf ban
Teachers oppose headscarves ban
Schoolgirl banned for Muslim dress
Head tells Muslim pupils not to be scared
Schools warned about anti-Islamic bullying

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