Source: Yahoo! News
Wire Service: Reuters
On August 29, 2004 Reuters reported, "- The kidnapping of two French journalists in Iraq has injected new tension into France's debate over banning Islamic headscarves in schools just as Paris was hoping for a smooth start to the school year this week. The Islamic Army in Iraq has given France 48 hours to revoke the controversial ban, but President Jacques Chirac and members of his government showed no signs they were ready to budge. The ultimatum shocked and embarrassed leaders of France's 5 million Muslims, prompting them to urge the French public not to imagine any link between their disapproval of the ban and the hostage-takers upping the stakes against it... The Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF), which has opposed the ban on headscarves and encouraged Muslim schoolgirls to defy it, said no 'foreign force' had the right to interfere in French Muslims' relations with the state."