03/02/2016 9:06 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Burqas Banned, Not Sikh Turbans: French Embassy

Agung Parameswara via Getty Images
MAKASSAR, SOUTH SULAWESI, INDONESIA - SEPTEMBER 22: A girl from the Islamic commune An-Nadzir looks on as she attends Eid Al Adha mass prayer at Mawang Lake, Gowa Regency on September 22, 2015 in Makassar, Indonesia. An-Nadzir is an exclusive Islamic community of 5,000-10,000 followers across Indonesia, which has one of the worlds largest populations of Muslims.While the beliefs of Muslims in the An-Nadzir community are similar to mainstream Muslims, they observe different prayer times, men wear dark robes, and women wear full burqas. People live a basic life of farming and fishing in the remote Gowa district, and believe in salvation without discrimination and living in peace with others. Based on Rukyah (the observation on the appearance of a new moon) and hisab (astronomical calculations), the An Nadzir muslim community determined that Eid Al Adha 1436 would fall on Tuesday, two days earlier than the date set by the national government. (Photo by Agung Parameswara/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- French embassy yesterday said there was no ban on wearing turbans in public space while reacting to a charge by a Sikh organisation that the community has been fighting for their rights in France.

"Outside the premises of public schools, wearing the Sikh turban is very much allowed in public space, contrary to the allegations of certain radical organisations. Only the burqa is banned in public places, for obvious security reasons.

"Furthermore, neither Sikhs wearing turbans in the streets nor Sikh shrines were ever subject to any hostility in France," embassy said in a statement here.

It also noted that the embassy issued this clarification following recent allegations regarding the so-called restrictions imposed on the wearing of Sikh turban in France.

"France upholds the freedom of religion, as well as the right not to have one, and opposes discriminations on this ground. There is no ban on the wearing of turbans. French law in this matter is very precise: the restriction applies to the wearing of all visible religious signs, without any discrimination, and it applies only to public schools.

"It leaves to the heads of public schools to take the most appropriate measures, so that it is implemented in a sensitive manner," the statement added.

This measure has been explained to the Indian authorities and representatives of the Sikh community in France, with whom a regular dialogue has been established, the embassy said.

The Sikhs of France understand and have assimilated the laws on laicite (French principle of separation between the State and religious institutions) and practical solutions have been found to reconcile their religious practice with the principles of the French Republic, it added.

Protesting against the absence of a Sikh regiment contingent at the Republic Day parade where French President Francois Hollande was the chief guest, Shiromani Akali Dal on Monday said it was a setback to the struggle of Sikhs who have been fighting for their rights in France.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.

Contact HuffPost India

Also see on HuffPost:

Photo gallery Pranab Mukherjee See Gallery