France moves to toughen ban on religion in schools
PARIS (AFP) - France on Monday unveiled a new charter designed to reinforce rules banning religion from schools which have been a recurring cause of tension with Muslims and other faiths.
The "Charter for Secularity in School" is to be displayed in poster form in every state-funded school in the country in a move pioneered by the Socialist government's education minister, Mr Vincent Peillon.
The 15-point statement contains nothing new in legal terms.
Instead, Mr Peillon says, it represents an attempt to promote better understanding, and more consistent enforcement, of long-established principles which have their roots in the anti-clericalism of the French revolution and the country's 1905 law enforcing a strict separation of church and state.