WANA (SEP 09) – IRNA – Iran’s Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs Ensieh KhazAli has voiced deep concerns over the French government’s enforcement of a law preventing Muslim girls wearing Islamic attire from entering schools.


In a letter addressed to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday, Khazali called for adherence to universal standards and utilizing all available resources to ensure individual and religious freedoms within the educational system, the IRNA reported.


She said the French government’s ban on wearing an abaya, a loose-fitting robe worn by many Muslim women, violates fundamental human rights and the basic religious rights of the Muslim community in France.


“The right to education is one of the recognized rights in international documents, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other United Nations documents and conventions, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and sustainable development goals,” she stated.


The Iranian official said that the implementation of the ban on Islamic attire in France may challenge the right to education for Muslim women and girls.


France passed a law in March 2004 that prohibited the wearing of religious clothing on the grounds that it constituted a display of religious affiliation in schools. Initially, this applied to headscarves, and Muslim girls were not prohibited from wearing abayas in schools.


Last month, The French government announced it was banning the abaya in schools, the latest in a string of decisions targeting how Muslim women dress in public.