A row over secularism has erupted again in France after a court annulled the sacking of a nursery assistant, fired for refusing to remove her Muslim head scarf. The decision represented 'a dark day for secularism in France' said one former minister.

Fatima Afif was sacked in 2008 by the 'Baby Loup' crèche in the Paris suburb of Yvelines, after she refused to take off her Muslim veil at work.

Five years and two failed appeals later, Afif finally had her sacking declared invalid by France's highest appeals court on Tuesday, which ruled it represented "discrimination" on the grounds of religious convictions.

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