Monday, July 14, 2014

French Court Suspends Municipal By-Law Banning Religious Symbols At Beach

In France, last Saturday a Versailles Administrative Court suspended, pending a final ruling on the merits, a by-law adopted by the town of Wissous that banned wearing of religious symbols on the town's beach. AFP reports that the prior week, Wissous Mayor Richard Trinquier, invoking the by-law, had turned away two mothers wearing hijabs (Muslim headscarves) who had brought their children to the beach. This led to an emergency court action being brought by the French government and an organization that combats Islamophobia, in which they argued that the by-law infringes the fundamental freedom of religious belief.  The mayor had claimed that the by-law protects France's commitment to secularism.