Lebanese Protest Ban of Religious Symbols Outside French Embassy

January 9, 2004

Source: Arab News


On January 9, 2004 the Arab News ran an Associated Press article that reported, " Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement organized yesterday a demonstration of about 5,000 girls, most of them in headscarves, outside the French Embassy here to protest a proposed French ban on headscarves in state schools. Most of the demonstrators were students brought in by buses. They marched from the Place du Musie to the embassy, where one veiled girl gave a letter to an embassy employee...The demonstrators walked about 300 meters (1,000 feet), waving banners in French and Arabic that defended wearing of the scarves, known as hijab, as a religious duty. 'France, what do you want? My hijab is my religion,' shouted the protesters. 'The hijab is not a symbol, but a religious duty,' read one of banner."