- 28 November : Training Imams
The training programmes for Imams that are available as of the start of the 2005-2006 school year are made up of two parts. First, a theological programme that is not under the authority of the State at the already existing religious institutes and second, a high-level, national, secular programme in a university setting. It is the second part that the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Education have developed.
This general training would be focused on knowledge of French society and would be a two or three-year programme in classical university courses including history, law or French.
Source : Le Monde, 28-11-04
- October : Wearing religious symbols in State schools
The law on wearing religious symbols in school (law of 15 March 2004) provoked reactions at the beginning of the new school year.
The Minister of Education, François Fillon, stated that to this day there have been "less than twenty-four cases" of problems related to the Islamic headscarf, cases, he says "that are being taken care of" (Le Monde, 05.10.04).
There have also been reactions from the Sikh community as it is against their religion to cut their hair and men must wear a turban. Three Sikh students from Seine-Saint-Denis challenged their expulsion from classes in court at the beginning of October. The court adjourned the decision (AFP agency story, 19 October 2004).
- 18 May 2004 : Wearing religious symbols in State schools
The law of 15 March 2004 states that "in State schools or secondary schools students are not permitted to wear symbols or clothing that conspicuously show their religious affiliation".
A circular from 18 May 2004 outlines its mode of enforcement.
- 28 January 2004 : Debate on Secularity and wearing religious symbols at school
The mission of parliamentary information on the issue of wearing religious symbols at school was pronounced on 12 November 2003 for a legislative measure expressly prohibiting "wearing visible signs of religious and political affiliation" inside State schools.
Furthermore, the discussion committee on the application of the principle of secularity in the French Republic, presided by Mr Bernard Stasi, presented its report to the President of the French Republic on 11 December 2003 and put forward several proposals aimed at reaffirming the principle of secularity, and especially the creation of a legislative measure prohibiting conspicuous religious symbols in schools and secondary schools.
A bill was brought to table on 28 January 2004.