Should France Ban Head Scarves?

JEAN-PAUL PELISSIER/REUTERS

MAKING A POINT: Private-school pupils can wear the scarf, but those in state schools can't

Last year, when France stood up against the war in Iraq, many Muslims saw the country as a protector of their faith. Now a simple square of fabric is tarnishing that image. Last week the French cabinet approved a new bill that would ban religious symbols from state schools.

Though the proposed law, which is expected to pass easily, would forbid students from wearing Jewish yarmulkes and large crucifixes, its main purpose is to stop the increasing use of the hijab, or head scarf, among Muslim...

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