In Algeria, the Government Forbids the Full Veil in Schools

Source: FSSPX News

Nouria Benghabrit, Minister of National Education in Algeria.

With a decree published on September 22, 2017, the Ministry of National Education in Algeria forbade the full veil and the niqab in schools.

The government’s official reason is “to fight against cheating on school exams”. But the measure also affects supervisors and teachers in these establishments who will no longer be authorized to wear these veils that cover the face while at work.

So-called “conservative” groups attacked this decision, saying it is an “attack on the freedom” of girls who wear veils. According to the press agency, the Association of Algerian Ulamas deplored “an attack on the national identity and on the spirit and personality of the child”. This decision comes as a part of Nouria Benghabrit’s educational reforms. The politician has already removed from school textbooks the formula “besmala”, “in the name of the clement and merciful God”, that precedes each surah of the Koran. The passage was written in all the textbooks, and on the cover of the Islamic educational manual for the first grade. It was replaced by a picture of two boys and two girls joyfully running to school hand in hand.

According to the Swiss agency, Algerian schools have been tightly controlled by “conservative Muslims” ever since their Arabization in the late 1960’s. In charge of national education since May 2014, Nouria Benghabrit, a French-speaking anthropologist with a diploma from the University Paris V and member of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, promised to accomplish a deep reform of the educational system. Labeled as a “Jew”, a “Zionist”, a “Francophile”, and an “enemy of the Arabian and Muslim identity”, she is now the target of Islamist circles that are clamoring for her resignation.