Calls to wear the qamis, to pray… Two notes from the state services warn of attacks against secularism in schools

Two notes from state services, which BFMTV was able to consult, reveal an Islamist offensive on social networks calling on students to break the rules of secularism.

With the start of the new school year approaching, the messages multiplied. On Twitter but also on Tik Tok, calls to encourage students to wear the veil or religious clothing, to practice prayer at school, have proliferated in a “strategy of Salafo-Brotherhood entryism”. This is revealed by two notes from state services that BFMTV was able to consult.

The first note written by territorial intelligence and dated August 27 lists the strategies developed by the Islamist movement that students are encouraged to follow to circumvent the law on the wearing of the veil and destabilize the principles of secularism. Thus, he is called upon to wear certain religious clothes, to pray in schools or to create conflict between school staff and students.

Trivialization of religious clothing

These messages come mainly from anonymous accounts on social networks. Regarding the wearing of religious clothing, the authors call on their followers to put on qamis, clothing worn by men, and abayas, these loose and long dresses hiding the ankles, in order to “bypass the ban on students wearing the veil at school”.

An Islamist influencer followed by nearly 50,000 people even encourages young women to wear a belt over their abaya to trivialize this religious garment.

The services fear that these Islamist messages will spread even in sports activities in the school setting and in particular during swimming lessons. The burkini could thus become, according to territorial information, a means for the Islamist movement to integrate the school sphere, in the name of the notion of modesty.

In the same vein, calls to practice prayer in schools are increasing in the direction of students of the Muslim faith. “School is not a valid constraint”, say these activists on social networks. The authors advise students to locate toilets, an empty classroom, a maintenance room, during breaks, or even to leave their establishment to respect prayer time.

“These expressions are characteristic of the strategy of Salafo-Brotherhood entry aimed at entering religious practices and rites within the school,” write the authors of the note.

Encouragement to prayer at school

Through social networks, it is the 2004 law on the prohibition of the wearing of the veil which is targeted. Qualified” as “Islamophobic” and “liberticide”, this law which recalls the principle of secularism is attacked. This promotes conflict between teachers or educational staff and students, especially when they are denied access school for wearing religious attire Those who uphold the 2004 law are identified on social media.

Young girls who wear the veil outside but who remove it once in the establishment are also targeted by these Islamist militants. Photos of these young girls are taken from outside the establishment while they are on the grounds of their school. Photos then used to put pressure on them.

The second note, dating from September 16, notes that the reports on attacks on secularism, during the school year which has just ended, have evolved. The services return in particular to the wearing of abayas and qamis, whose “families frequently deny any religious dimension”.

“These speeches can hide a desire to circumvent the law on the wearing of religious symbols at school”, is it written in this note written for the attention of the rectors of academies.

Reminder of the principles of secularism

The services offer “a unified response”. National Education distinguishes two situations: the wearing of ostensibly religious signs or outfits such as the veil, the yarmulke or a pendant of a religious nature, and the wearing of outfits or accessories which are not by nature of a religious nature but which become so by the will of the pupil. In both cases, the directors of establishments are called upon to prohibit their wearing.

These “workaround” strategies can include wearing a bandana to hide your hair or a long skirt to hide your legs up to your ankles, the services note.

To assess the desire to give these outfits a religious character, several criteria can be taken into account, such as their permanent wearing or the student’s refusal to remove them.

Calls to wear the qamis, to pray… Two notes from the state services warn of attacks against secularism in schools