The Council of State in France on Monday rejected an appeal filed by two educational institutions and a union, against the ban on wearing the abaya in schools, which was announced by the government at the end of last August, confirming the legality of the decision.

The council, France's highest administrative court, said in a statement on its website that it had rejected the appeal against the ban by the two educational institutions and the union, noting that "wearing the abaya is part of the logic of religious affirmation."

He stressed that the law prohibits students from wearing signs or clothing that clearly show belonging to any religion inside public educational institutions.

He noted that after this interim decision is issued urgently, the Council will issue a final decision later, after an in-depth investigation.

Last week, the two institutions and the syndicate appealed against the government's August 31 ban on the abaya worn by some Muslim school students.

The second of its kind

On 31 August, Vincent Bringarth, a lawyer for Muslim Rights Action, appealed to the State Council to demand the suspension of the abaya ban, which he described as violating "many fundamental freedoms", but the State Council rejected the appeal on 7 September and ratified the decision.

The council said the ban did not seriously violate the right to respect for private life, freedom of religion, and the right to education.

The decision to ban the abaya came into effect coinciding with the start of the 2023-2024 academic year, on September 4, but dozens of veiled students refused to give up the abaya, and were denied entry to their schools in application of the ban.

The ban has sparked a backlash against the government, which has come under fire in recent years for targeting Muslims with certain statements and policies, including raids on mosques and charities, and an "anti-separatism" law that imposes sweeping restrictions on society.