The debate in France over the wearing of veils by Islamic girls in schools has served for nearly two decades as a nexus for emotional controversy and debate. Religion and secularism in public schools. Immigration and assimilation. Gender and ethnicity. Participation in democracy and public debate. Rapid social change and cherished cultural traditions. Personal, collective, and national identities.
Focusing on the 2004 decision to ban the wearing of traditional Muslim headscarves in public schools, this program shows how the controversy has played out in Dammarie-les-Lys, a racially diverse community.