Women

Australians Have Not Engaged in Serious Headscarf Debates

December 20, 2003

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/12/19/1071337155688.html

On December 20, 2003 the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story on Australian attitudes toward the headscarf, in the wake of France's proposed ban of conspicious religious symbols in schools: "Among Sydney's 13 Islamic independent schools, the hijab is generally compulsory for girls of high school age, according to Medenia Abdurahman, secretary of the Australian Council for...

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Editorial: Interfaith Education, not Banning Religious Symbols, is the Road to Tolerance

December 19, 2003

Source: International Herald Tribune

http://www.iht.com/articles/122040.html

On December 19, 2003 the International Herald Tribune published an editorial responding to the recent French ban on headscarves, Jewish skullcaps and large crosses: "So far, thanks to God, karma and Constitution, nobody has proposed an outright ban on religious head gear on this side of the Atlantic. Yet it reminds us that the freedom to be religiously different is always fragile. For example, in August...

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Reactions to Proposed Ban of Religious Symbols Vary; Ban Could Extend to Workplace

December 19, 2003

Source: The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16370-2003Dec19.html

On December 19, 2003 The Washington Post ran an article on the reactions and possible consequences of the proposed law in France that would ban "conspicious religious symbols" from public schools, citing some Muslims who agreed with the proposal to keep religion "private" and "in the home." The article went on to say, "Outside Paris's main mosque, in a...

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Chirac on Ban of Religious Symbols: Secularlism Protects Freedom of Religion

December 18, 2003

Source: BBC News

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3329563.stm

On December 18, 2003 the BBC News posted excerpts from French President Jacques Chirac's speech supporting a law banning "conspicious" religious symbols from public school classrooms. Chirac said, "The debate on the principle of secularism goes to the very heart of our conscience. It concerns our national cohesion, our ability to live together, our ability to unite on what is essential...All of France's children,...

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French Secularism Traces its History to 18th Century Revolution

December 18, 2003

Source: BBC News

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3325285.stm

On December 18, 2003 the BBC News ran an article on the history of secularism in France, in light of the recent debate over the ban of religious symbols in French public schools: "Secularism is the closest thing the French have to a state religion. It underpinned the French Revolution and has been a basic tenet of the country's progressive thought since the 18th Century. To this day, anything that smacks of...

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U.S. Criticizes French Proposal to Ban Religious Symbols in Schools

December 18, 2003

Source: The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/19/politics/19RELI.html

On December 18, 2003 The New York Times reported, "The Bush administration on Thursday gently criticized a French proposal to ban head scarves and other conspicuous religious items from the public schools, saying that such displays constitute 'a basic right that should be protected.' In the first public comment by a United States official about the controversy, John V. Hanford, the...

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French Muslim Council Denounces Ban of Religious Symbols in Schools

December 17, 2003

Source: IslamOnline.net

http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2003-12/17/article02.shtml

On December 17, 2003 IslamOnline.net reported, "The French Muslim Council lambasted...a government report on secularity and religion, dismissing it as an 'affront' to the Muslim community in the western European country. In an open message to French President Jacques Chirac...the council said secularism in France took 'a step backward' after a government...

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Religious Diversity Issue Runs Deeper Than Banning Symbols

December 15, 2003

Source: Mother Jones

http://www.motherjones.com/news/dailymojo/2003/12/12_517.html

On December 15, 2003 Mother Jones ran an article on the proposed ban of religious symbols in French public schools: "Although the new recommendation includes Jewish kippot (skullcaps) and large Christian crosses, the real debate centers around the hijab, or headscarf, worn by some Muslim women. Arguments differ on why the headscarves should be banned, feminists argue that it is...

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Sikh Women's Conference Calls for Gender Equality

December 13, 2003

Source: Sikhnet

http://www.sikhnet.com/s/DetroitWomenConference

On December 13, 2003 Sikhnet reported that over two hundred delegates from the United States and Canada attended a Sikh Women's Conference at Oakland University. The conference was hosted by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the World Sikh Council – America Region.The conference focused on "the need to recognize and remove all barriers to change, and to adopt the philosophy and model laid...

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Opinion: Proposed Law Would Restrict Religious Freedom

December 13, 2003

Source: New Straits Times

http://www.mmail.com.my/Current_News/NST/Saturday/Columns/20031213081425/Article/

On December 13, 2003 the New Straits Times ran a column by Rizal Andalas, arguing that the propsed ban of "conspicious" religious symbols in France's public schools constitutes a violation of freedom of religion. Andalas writes, "[T]he proposed ban, while largely understandable when seen through the prism of French historical...

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Chief Rabbi Speaks Against Proposed Ban of Muslim Headscarf

December 12, 2003

Source: Ha'aretz

http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=370594

On December 12, 2003 Ha'aretz ran a Reuters article that reported, "France's chief rabbi added a Jewish voice Wednesday to a choir of Christian churches calling on President Jacques Chirac to stand firm against a growing movement to ban the Muslim veil in public schools and offices. Grand Rabbi Joseph Sitruk, in an interview with the daily Le Figaro, said French of...

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Committee Recommends Ban of "Conspicious" Religious Symbols in Public Schools

December 11, 2003

Source: United Press International

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20031211-032204-3206r

On December 11, 2003 United Press International reported, "Muslim headscarves, Jewish skullcaps and large crosses are to be banned from French public schools, according to a report presented to President Jacques Chirac Thursday. More 'discreet' religious symbols, such as small crosses, Muslim Hands of Fatima and Stars of David should be allowed, a 20-member committee...

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Second German State Drafts Law to Ban Headscarves in Classroom

December 9, 2003

Source: BBC News

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3304801.stm

On December 9, 2003 the BBC News reported, "The government in Germany's biggest state, Bavaria, has prepared a draft law to ban Muslim teachers from wearing headscarves in schools. A Bavarian cabinet minister said the aim was to protect school pupils against fundamentalist influences. The bill is expected to be passed next year in the regional parliament, which is dominated by the Christian Social Union (CSU)...

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Diverse Group of Women Argues Against Headscarf Law

December 2, 2003

Source: Deutsche Welle

http://www.dw-world.de/english/0,3367,1432_A_1047227_1_A,00.html

On December 2, 2003 Deutsche Welle reported, "Over 70 women gathered in front of the symbolically significant statue of the Roman goddess Minerva -- the patron of teachers and the goddess of wisdom -- at the German parliament building in Berlin on Monday to plead for a more discerning and objective debate over the Muslim headscarf. The group, which sees itself working...

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