The French government has banned the burqa as a violation of secularism
On the first day of the new school year in France, dozens of schoolgirls were sent home for refusing to wear the abaya.
French Education Minister Gabriele Attal told BFM broadcaster that around 300 girls had arrived on Monday morning wearing abayas, defying the ban on wearing the burqa.
He said most agreed not to wear the abaya, but 67 refused and were sent back home.
The government announced last month that it was banning the abaya in schools. According to France, the wearing of the burqa by Muslim girls violates the principles of secularism, which has already banned the hijab on the grounds that it reflects religious affiliation.
The move pleased the political right, but critics said it was an affront to civil liberties.
The French education minister said the girls were given a letter to their families saying secularism is not an obstacle, it is a freedom.
Gabriel Atal said there would be a “new dialogue” if she wore the abaya again to school.
On Monday night, President Emmanuel Macron defended the controversial move, saying there was a “minority” in France that “hijacks religion and challenges republicanism and secularism” with “the worst consequences”. will