Two years after France's controversial 2011 law banning the wearing of the full face-covering Islamic veil in public, the issue of the role of religion in the country's proudly secular society is once again a major topic of debate.

This time, however, the battleground is the country's universities, after a report seen by the French daily Le Monde on Monday recommended banning university students from wearing religious symbols such as crucifixes, Jewish skullcaps and Muslim headscarves.

The report, from France's High Council for Integration (HCI), claimed that "growing tensions in all sectors of university life" were undermining the country's secular values, leading it to call for a 2004 law banning school children from wearing religious symbols to be extended to universities.

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