Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



This Note examines the recent controversy over France's ban against "ostentatious" religious symbols in public schools. The only ostentatious symbol targeted by the French government, however, has been the head scarves worn by Muslim schoolgirls. The author explores the roots of the current ban by examining France's tradition of assimilation of immigrants and its constitutionally mandated secular public education system. The author also compares France's interests in prohibiting head scarves with the Muslim students' interests in practicing their religion. Finally, the author concludes that the French policy of banning head scarves from school is not only impractical, but likely a violation of both French and International law.