French Senate approves controversial headscarf ban bill

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PARIS

The French Senate on Wednesday approved a controversial bill banning mothers of children from wearing Muslim headscarves during school trips.

A total of 163 senators voted in favor of the bill while 114 voted against.

The bill must also be approved by the National Assembly to enter into force.

But since the ruling party, The Republic on the Move – which has a majority in the National Assembly – is against the bill, the bill is unlikely to be approved.

Earlier this month, far-right French lawmaker Julien Odoul asked a Muslim woman to remove her veil during a meeting in east Besançon and verbally assaulted her.

After the incident, the issue sparked discussions and statements targeting Muslims, which have recently increased.

An 84-year-old man was arrested on Monday after seriously injuring two people while praying at a mosque in Bayonne, southern France.

The attacker was a former soldier and had run for local elections a few years ago for Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party, renamed the National Rally.

French President Emmanuel Macron declared on October 24: “Wearing a headscarf in public spaces is not my business, however, in public services, at school and during children’s education, the issue of scarf is my business. This is secularism “.

In an open letter to Macron published on October 15 in the daily Le Monde, 90 academics, directors, actors and journalists called on the president to condemn Odoul’s attack on the Muslim woman.

* Writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet in Ankara

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