Where does a republic draw the line between church and state? Over the past week, France has been struggling with this very question. Last Thursday, Jacques Chirac, the president of France received a report requesting a ban on religious attire in public schools. Mr. Chirac has openly denounced the wearing of Muslim head scarves previously, calling them, "ostentatious signs of religious proselytism." The proposed ban would include items such as crosses, head scarves and yarmulkes. Muslims make up 7 percent of the French population, while Jews constitute one percent. Together, these two minorities consist of about 6 million French citizens.
France appears to be split over the proposed ban. Many Muslims have protested it and some have declared that they would rather break French law than the law of the Koran. A letter was written by prominent French Muslim women declaring the obligation to wear head scarves "discrimination against women that is intolerable."
On the other hand, the Council of Christian Churches declared such a law "discriminatory." Mohammad of France told worshippers not to take their children to schools and that the head scarves make women beautiful because they are the flag of Muslim women.
The bill comes at a time where Jews are persecuted during recess time because they wear yarmulkes. Teachers often can not teach about the Holocaust for fear of what the class might do. Muslim women are labeled whores if they do not wear the head garment and Muslim inmates pressure other inmates into making sure that their relatives wear the appropriate religious attire while visiting. Other problems include the insistence of Muslim women only to be treated by women doctors and job discrimination against foreigner. The bill has many potential advantages, however, many fear that Muslims will now send more of their children...