Showing Faith in France

FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP-GETTY IMAGES

SCHOOL RULES: One student gets ready to comply with the new law banning head scarves.

Asasma Butt walked up to the entrance of the Lycée Rabelais in northern Paris last Thursday — the first day of school for students across France — she did something she didn't want to do. She removed her black head scarf, a symbol of her Muslim faith. France's new law prohibiting all religious symbols from public schools had come into effect that day, and though Butt, 18, opposes the ban — "taking off the veil bothers me every time," she said — she was submitting to it. It is, after all, the law of the republic.

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