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6897France Muslim School Noted for Excellence

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  • Zafar Khan
    Jul 20, 2006
      France Muslim School Noted for Excellence
      By Hadi Yahmid, IOL Correspondent
      Sun., Jul. 9, 2006


      PARIS — The first batch to graduate from France's sole
      Muslim secondary school has scored impressive final
      results, with hijab-clad students topping the chart.

      "Success rate reached more than 75 percent, thank
      God," Ammar Al-Asfar, the principal of Ibn Rushd
      school, told IslamOnline.net on Sunday, July 8.

      Of the 20 alumni, fifteen male and female students
      have succeeded, he said, adding that a majority of 12
      hijab-donned students had scored excellent remarks.

      "We are proud of these results for a start.

      "We have remarkably ironed out the first obstacle that
      faced us since the school came into being," noted

      The first batch of graduates tossed their graduation
      hats into the air on Friday, July 7.

      In July of 2003, the French government approved the
      establishment of Ibn Rushd school in Lille, where
      Muslims make up 25 percent of the one million

      Seventy students are enrolled in the school, which
      came as a source of relief for Muslim girls, who had
      to leave their state-run school because of their

      France adopted in November 2004 a controversial law
      banning hijab and religious symbols like Jewish
      skullcaps, crucifixes and Sikh turbans in public

      French Muslims — a sizeable six-million minority —
      along with practicing Jews, Sikhs and international
      human rights groups strongly condemned the law, saying
      it violated the freedom of religion right in secular

      No Discrimination

      Asfar said that the school's hijab-donned students
      were treated well at the state-supervised exam centers
      in Lille.

      "They were neither discriminated against nor
      harassed," he said. "They were treated with respect."

      Asfar said that the anti-hijab law cut both ways as it
      badly harmed French Muslims, but prompted them to
      establish their own schools like other minorities.

      The controversial law forced many French Muslim girls
      to enroll in schools in neighboring European countries
      or at private schools at home.

      Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey and Britain are among the
      countries that were sought by a growing number of
      hijab-clad students.

      Others have opted for charge-free tutorials provided
      by French Muslims.

      A number of private schools have also opened special
      sections for hijab-clad students shunned by state

      The second Muslim secondary school is expected to open
      next academic year in Lyon, central France.

      Moe about Islam and Muslims in France at: