Excerpt:

France's top court has upheld the decision of a childcare centre to fire an employee for wearing the Islamic headscarf, the hijab. The case has dragged on for six years, pitting French legal interpretations of secularism against laws guaranteeing personal freedom of expression.

The privately run Baby Loup childcare centre in Chanteloup-les-Vignes, near Paris, fired Fatima Afif for violating a rule against displaying symbols of religious faith in 2008.

Years of legal battles have been fought against the background of the long-running debate on Islamic dress and the secular French republic and also raised questions of employers' and employees' rights in the workplace.


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