France's public schools will enforce dress code banning Islamic abayas, says Macron

© Jeff Pachoud, AFP

French students won’t get past the door if they show up for school wearing long robes, President Emmanuel Macron made clear Friday, saying authorities would be "intractable" in enforcing a new rule when classes resume next week.

French Education Minister Gabriel Attal announced at a news conference six days ago that robes worn mainly by Muslims, known as abayas for girls and women and khamis for boys and men, would be banned with the start of the new school year on Monday.

French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne on Sunday rejected any accusation of unfair treatment with the introduction of this ban. "I can see that there is manipulation and attempts at provocation on the part of some. I'm thinking in particular of LFI (La France Insoumise or France Unbowed – a French left-wing political party)," Borne said in an interview with French radio network RTL.

"But I want to state things very clearly: there is no stigmatisation. Every one of our fellow citizens, whatever their religion, has their place in our country," she said.

Macron publically addressed the dress code for the first time after visiting a professional school in the Vaucluse region of southern France.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
French education minister announces ban on Islamic abayas in schools
Top French court rules in favour of hijab ban in women's football
Headscarves can be banned at work under certain conditions, top EU court rules