Source: BBC News
On November 29, 2003 the BBC News reported, "French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin has announced plans that could in effect ban Muslim women from wearing headscarves in public institutions. Mr. Raffarin told a meeting of his governing UMP party on Friday that he plans to introduce a bill that would be aimed at protecting women...A motion approved by 90% of UMP delegates at Friday's meeting near Paris called for a bill that would 'explicitly ban the ostentatious wearing of any political or religious sign' in public schools. In his address to the meeting, Mr Raffarin said the bill was designed to defend secularism and protect 'all women from fundamentalist pressures.' 'That is the main point. This is not about religion, it's about lifting constraints on women.'"