France’s parliament banned lawmakers from wearing any religious symbols

Vastavam web: France’s parliament has banned lawmakers from wearing any religious symbols under a new “neutral” dress code, an extension of the country’s strict secular rules that is seen as going too far by some critics.Under the change approved late Wednesday, members of the National Assembly must avoid “the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols, uniforms, logos or commercial messages or political slogans.” Until now, lawmakers were instructed to simply “respect the institution”, which generally meant women wearing smart clothes and men sporting a suit and tie, though this latter requirement was relaxed last year.

Some 20th-century lawmakers included priests in religious garb, such as Henri Groues, better known as Abbe Pierre, and several Christian faith leaders were critical of the new restrictions on Wednesday.That was seen by critics as penalising Muslims in particular by banning headscarves and veils, but Jewish kippas were also covered by the regulations.”We’re adopting a framework and limits to avoid any sort of provocation,” de Rugy said.Schoolchildren, teachers and now lawmakers are allowed to wear small Christian crosses around their necks, while Jews are permitted to wear a Star of David and Muslims can carry a Hamsa amulet.

Some politicians support extending the ban on religious symbols to universities and even to the workplace, while some see secularism as camouflage for an Islamophobic campaign against the veil.Lawmakers will be allowed to deviate from the new dress rules if they can justify their appearance as traditional clothing, however.Moetai Brotherson, an MP from the French Pacific island of Tahiti, will be authorised to continue wearing his lavalava, a traditional Polynesian skirt.