France will ban school pupils attending state-run facilities from wearing the abaya, a loose-fitting, full-length dress some Muslim women wear.

Iran PressEurope: In 2004, the country banned headscarves in schools, and in 2010, it passed a ban on full-face veils in public, angering many in its five million Muslim community.

Education Minister Gabriel Attal, who was only promoted to his role earlier in the summer, made the announcement late on Sunday in an interview with French television channel TF1.

"When you walk into a classroom, you shouldn't be able to identify the pupils' religion just by looking at them," he said.

The move comes after months of debate over the wearing of abayas in French schools, where women have long been banned from wearing the hijab.

The French Council of Muslim Faith (CFCM), a national body encompassing many Muslim associations, has said items of clothing alone were not “a religious sign”.


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