Assimilating fundamentalist Muslims a difficult issue for French schools

10/20/2003 | San Francisco Chronicle

French schools are mired in a debate over the separation of church and state debate as hundreds of Muslim female students defy rules forbidding head scarves. France's Muslim population also is pressing for school calendars incorporating Muslim holy days and for sexually segregated classrooms, demands President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin view as threats to national cohesion and secularism.

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