Muslim schools in France lose government funding, Reuters reports

Reuters has recently published a report highlighting the difficulties Muslim schools are facing in France under the current government.

According to the report, the French government has introduced laws granting local authorities extensive powers to strip institutions, including private schools, of funding if they fail to adhere to the principles of “liberty, equality, and fraternity”.

Under this legal framework, local offices of the national government have closed at least five Islamic schools that were receiving government support and funding.

The report pointed out that out of ten Muslim schools that were receiving government aid, only one still receives government funding, while the support for the other schools has been halted, leading to a decrease in enrollment for the next school year at one school, from 800 students to about 500 students.

Part of the shift towards Muslim schools is attributed to the ban on headscarves in French public schools in 2004, which pushed many Muslim students and their families to turn towards Islamic educational institutions.

According to the French statistics agency, about 6.8 million Muslims live in France, representing approximately 10% of the total population, making Islam the second largest religion in the country.

In this context, Amnesty International expressed concern that the government’s policies might be discriminatory and reinforce stereotypes that link all Muslims with terrorism or extremist ideas, calling on the French government to reconsider its policies to ensure non-discrimination against Islamic schools and respect the rights of Muslims in the country.

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