Malaysia Muslims oppose headscarf ban

Dozens of supporters of an opposition Islamic party have gathered outside the French embassy to protest the French government's ban on girls wearing Islamic headscarves in state schools.

    Banning the Hijab has been slammed by civil rights group

    Some 30 members of the Islamic party (PAS) unfurled a banner on Tuesday reading "Stop the Oppression," while others held up posters saying wearing the headscarf was a religious requirement. 

    "We are particularly concerned that this legislation appears to represent a backlash against one French minority - Muslims," PAS youth chief Salahuddin Ayub said in a memorandum to the French government. 

    'Religious obligation'

    Lo'Lo Muhammad Ghazali, head of the PAS women's wing, condemned France's decision. 

    "We wish to highlight that the wearing of the headscarf is not a mere symbol, but a religious obligation upon which it is sinful for the Muslim faithful not to observe it," she said. 

    The PAS held a similar protest last month. There are estimated to be several hundred girls wearing headscarves in French schools every day. 

    France's move to prohibit the hijab or headscarf and other overt religious insignia, such as the Jewish skullcap and large Christian crosses, has been slammed by civil rights groups and Muslims around the world, as well as the by Catholic Church.



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