Abaya: Gabriel Attal conforté par le Conseil d’Etat

After a week of excitement, the decision of the Council of State is summarized in two paragraphs. In order to validate the ban on the abaya and the qamis (its male counterpart), the judges rely on a double observation. During the 2022-2023 school year, reports of infringements on secularism « have experienced a significant increase »: 1,984 incidents were reported to the Ministry of National Education compared to 617 in the previous year. In the « vast majority » of cases, it involved wearing abaya-type clothing, which is « a female garment covering the entire body, except for the face and hands. » The second part of the Council of State’s argument is that « the choice of these clothing items is part of a logic of religious assertion. » Because, it says, when « dialogue » is initiated with the concerned students, their discourse « emphasizes motives related to religious practice, (is) inspired by arguments disseminated on social networks. »

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