France won't consider repealing ban on head scarves

Dec. 14, 2013 at 3:13 PM   |   0 comments

PARIS, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- French President Francois Hollande said his Socialist government is not considering repealing the nation's controversial ban on Muslim head scarves.

The issue was raised after a report including input form several public officials included dropping the ban, which has been seen by conservatives as a necessary step to encourage integration and acceptance of French culture and traditions by ethnic and religious minorities.

Conservative politicians reacted swiftly after the report became public, saying the very fiber of the French republic was in danger if Muslims were permitted to wear head scarves in public, Radio France Internationale reported.

"It would no longer be up to immigrants to adopt French culture but to France to abandon its culture, its values, its language, its history and its identity to adapt to the cultures of others," said conservative lawmaker Jean-Francois Coup. "Our republic would be in danger if you ceded to the temptation to implement even the smallest part of a report whose intention is to deconstruct this republic."

Hollande countered, simply saying "that's not at all the position of the government," when asked if he was considering ending the head scarf ban.

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