The French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in
schools is an amendment to the French Code of Education banning
students from wearing conspicuous religious symbols in French public
primary and secondary schools. The law expands principles founded in
existing French law, especially the constitutional requirement of
laïcité: the separation of state and religious activities. The bill
passed France's national legislature and was signed into law by
President Jacques Chirac on March 15, 2004 and came into effect on
September 2, 2004, at the beginning of the new school year. The law
does not mention any particular symbol, though it is considered by
many to specifically target the wearing of headscarves (hijab) by
Muslim schoolgirls. The law was controversial: while its proponents
contended that it protected young Muslim women from peer pressure to
wear the veil, critics claimed that it infringed on religious freedom.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Hundred Years' War: Henry V of England and his lightly armored
infantry and archers defeated the heavily armored French cavalry in
the Battle of Agincourt.
Charge of the Light Brigade: Lord Cardigan led his cavalry to
disaster in the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War.
The Battle of Leyte Gulf sealed the defeat of the Imperial Japanese
Navy in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
People's Republic of China replaced the Republic of China as China's
representative at the United Nations.
Operation Urgent Fury: The United States and Caribbean allies
invaded Grenada, six days after Bernard Coard seized power in a
violent coup d'état.
Wikiquote of the day:
"Few men during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the
resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that
are never used." -- Richard E. Byrd