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College of William & Mary Law School

Freedom of Religion

Journal

Comparative and Foreign Law

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The Burka Ban: Divergent Approaches To Freedom Of Religion In France And In The U.S.A., Ioanna Tourkochoriti Mar 2012

The Burka Ban: Divergent Approaches To Freedom Of Religion In France And In The U.S.A., Ioanna Tourkochoriti

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

Six years after prohibiting the wearing of headscarves by students in public schools, the French state passed a law prohibiting the wearing of burkas in public places. Compared to France, in the United States there is more tolerance for wearing signs of religious affiliation. The difference in legal responses can be understood in reference to a different background understanding of the fundamental presuppositions of republicanism in the two legal and political orders, which also define their conception of secularism. The law enacted in France can be understood in a general frame of a paternalistic state, which is seen as permitted ...