Skip to comments.France's First Muslim High School Opens
Posted on 09/02/2003 6:00:37 PM PDT by Helms
LILLE, France -- Only a dozen students -- six boys and six girls -- showed up at the mosque where France's first Muslim high school began holding classes on Tuesday.
Despite the small enrollment, school officials said they expect big things from the 10th graders at the private Averroes Lycee -- an experiment aimed at reconciling the nation's deep commitment to secularism with the demands of its second-largest religious group.
"The number of students is not significant, but the Averroes Lycee is a symbol," said the school's deputy director, Makhlouf Mameche. "I think this high school will serve as a laboratory. Everyone is waiting for the results."
The high school, located on the third floor of Lille's Al-Imane mosque in a gritty neighborhood of the northern city, follows France's national education program. But the curriculum also, includes courses in Islamic culture and Arabic language and emphasizes creating a Muslim atmosphere officials said.
The girls said they chose to attend the Averroes Lycee simply to be able to wear their traditional Muslim headscarves, forbidden in most public schools.
"It's part of my personality," said 16-year-old Samira of the violet scarf wrapped closely to her forehead. She, like all the other girls, refused to give her full name. "That I can keep my own personality ... is a big benefit," she said. "At the other (public) school, I took my scarf off at the door."
Even the school's principal, Sylvie Taleb, a former French teacher in a Catholic school, wore an elegant white chiffon scarf dotted with small pearls on opening day.
"Perhaps you are writing a new page in the history of France without being aware," she told the students. "You are our ambassadors."
The Muslim headscarf has roiled the French Republic on and off for some 15 years, provoking teachers' strikes, feeding rancor and casting suspicion of Muslim militancy on some women who cover their heads.
France, taking in immigrants from its former North African colonies, has the largest Muslim community in Western Europe, estimated at 5 million, and Islam is the nation's second religion, after Roman Catholicism. There are hundreds of private Catholic schools, but the first Muslim school, a junior high school in Aubervilliers, outside Paris, was established only two years ago.
The headscarf debate was infused with new passion last spring when Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy reminded a Muslim gathering that women must have their heads uncovered in national identity photos. Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin warned that a law could be passed "if necessary" to impose secularism, a mainstay of modern-day France.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsday.com ...
Yeah right!, more than the French know. LePetite fools. Islam is a highly resistant Meme/ mental virus.
Good freakin' luck!
My godfather lives in Paris. He tells me that a lot of the Arab housing projects are no-go areas for the police.
It's almost too bad that the plot to fly planes into the Eiffel Tower did not succeed. Maybe that might have woken the French up to the fifth column in their society.
The French didn't wake up when the Germans marched in, they just rolled over. It has been suggested that they lost so many of their strongest in WWI, 1.8 million casualties, that they were drained. If so, it still hasn't stopped their ridiculous posturing as they now encourage their Muslims in hope of appeasement.
The high school is said to be funded only by donations, even though the mosque is owned by the Islamic League of the Nord region, a member of a weighty fundamentalist group, the Union of Islamic Organizations of France - reportedly close to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
Idiots, they're so proud of training these few Muslims with a fundy Muslim background. Well, the French with few exceptions, tossed their Jews into the Nazi death camps to get along. Now they're tossing themselves into an Islamic state in a few decades to get along.
Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my infrequent miscellaneous ping list.
I fear you may be right...
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