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French Muslim girls flee to private school
by Mildrade Cherfils
When 17-year-old Shainez Dib announced she wanted to start wearing a hijab as a deeper expression of her religious faith, her mother advised against it, telling her daughter she was not yet mature enough. Just because she could, since she was now attending a Muslim private school, didn't mean she should.
"To wear a veil means you can no longer do foolish things," said Dib, who ultimately followed her mother's advice. "You have to adapt your behavior."
Instead, Dib continued wearing a headscarf, since she no longer had to remove it at her school's entrance like her friends still attending public school, where covering one's head as a religious symbol is against the law. A nationwide ban in 2004 outlawed all such symbols in the public sphere.
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