By Illah Soussi Tamli
By Illah Soussi Tamli
Orlando, Florida – Long skirts, particularly those of darker colors, are no longer acceptable in certain institutions in Europe.
Sarah a 15-year-old Muslim student in France set precedence to this new phenomenon. In April of 2015, upon her arrival to school, Sarah removed her head covering at the entrance, and yet was redirected home by the headmistress who felt that her long back skirt conspicuously portrayed religious affiliation and defied the rules of secularity in France.
A very similar occurrence took place this past Friday in Brussels, Belgium. About thirty female Muslim students were denied entry to their school because their skirts were deemed too long. The underlying reason was that this piece of garment is largely assimilated with “an ostentatious religious appearance”.
The Muslim female students of l’Institut De Mot-Couvreur, resisted such treatment as they stood in protest outside the building until the arrival of the police who dispersed the demonstration.
“We arrived around 8 am this morning. Large in number, we were attired in either long skirts or dresses of various colors. We were denied access because of this, and provided with the excuse that it was prohibited according to the institution’s regulations” Sana explains to the Belgian news magazine La Capitale. “Yet they only address religious symbols and long skirts of dark colors in their regulations” she insists. “I do not think my dress is dark. In addition, it is fashionable.”
“This is not the first time we are sanctioned. Earlier this month I had points deduced for inappropriate behavior because I was wearing a skirt” states the 22 year old Dhnet Yasmina.
In a video posted by Dirk De Block, the school’s director, he explained that this decision derived from the deputy mayor of Brussels, Faouzia Hariche, and not a concept he initiated himself.
According to Dhnet, De Block had previously provided a notice of regulations to students, which stated that “the wearing of baggy pants, long skirts or dark dresses, and skirts or dresses over pants is not tolerated.”
This past Friday the director of l’Institut De Mot-Couvreur refused to address the press regarding the case. He did however provide this explanation- he had been forbidden to speak by the “organizing authority”.