French court backs private rule banning scarves

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PARIS (AP) - The Paris Appeals Court, overturning a high court decision, has ruled that a private nursery school was justified in firing an assistant director who refused to remove her Islamic head scarf while on the job.

Wednesday's decision was the fourth in the emblematic case of the firing of Fatima Afif at the Baby Loup nursery school five years ago. The nursery school's rules ban employees from wearing head scarves as a means to ensure the neutrality of religious convictions.

The Court of Cassation ruled in favor of Ms. Afif in March, overturning decisions by a lower court and a labor court.

France banned Muslim head scarves in state school classrooms in 2004 and full-faced veils in 2010. There's no French law regulating religious apparel in private institutions.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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