France: Teacher receives death threats after asking Muslim pupil to remove her face veil

France: Teacher receives death threats after asking Muslim pupil to remove her face veil

A teacher received death threats and was accused of 'Islamophobia' after they asked a Muslim pupil to remove her face veil - as required by French law - before taking an exam at a high school in Paris.

The teacher was attacked on social media following the altercation with the high school student, who had allegedly refused to remove her veil to take her baccalaureate exam at the Charlemagne High School in Paris on Thursday.

The Paris prosecutor's office said they were investigating the death threats made against the teacher.

In 2004, France banned the wearing of 'conspicuous religious symbols' including the Muslim face veil, known as the niqab, at schools.

The student, from a Parisian high school, had been asked to remove the veil outside the examination room at the Charlemagne school so that staff could perform a standard identity check before the exam.

She had insisted on wearing the veil 'despite several reminders of the law by the staff of the education office present at reception', reported Le Figaro. 

The pupil is said to have eventually removed the headscarf after a 'tense' exchange with the teacher before she entered the examination room.

The altercation was tweeted by one of the student's friends on Twitter. The user accused the teacher of being 'Islamophobic'. 

Soon after, the teacher received death threats and some users demanded to know the teacher's name and to be shown a photograph of the educator. Others called the teacher a 'b***h'.

The situation echoes that of the beheaded teacher Samuel Paty, who was targeted online and sent death threats after he showed his class caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad for a debate on freedom of expression. His identity was posted on social networks. 

Mr Paty, 47, was beheaded near his school in a Paris suburb by 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov, a Chechen, on October 16 2020. 

Since the attack, there have been a number of cases whereby teachers have been receiving threats - even from their pupils.