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Minority Rights, Hmong, France


As the school year began in 1989, three Muslim girls, Samira S. and Fatima and Leïla A., started the ninth and tenth grades, insistent upon wearing their Islamic veils (Cardoso 2000). Problems arose when the girls refused to attend class at the beginning of the school year and on Saturdays, citing religious reasons. The girls were suspended from school, and eventually appealed the decision, prompting major upsets across schools in France. Schools began to act independently, issuing bans on the veils. In 1990, Jean-Juarés High School specified that “the wearing of all distinctive symbols, clothing or otherwise, religious, political, or philosophical, is strictly forbidden” (Philippe 1992). A national policy followed, which eventually banned the wearing of Muslim headscarves in French public schools. This measure that banned Muslim headscarves is one piece of a larger legislative project of secularism (laïcité). This study aims to contribute to scholarship on laïcité by providing an account of non-Muslim minority populations. I examined the experience of Hmong residents of France within the larger secular project to understand how their experiences have differed to those of Muslim immigrants in France.


The Annual Mary Lou Fulton Mentored Research Conference showcases some of the best student research from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. The mentored learning program encourages undergraduate students to participate in hands-on and practical research under the direction of a faculty member. Students create these posters as an aide in presenting the results of their research to the public, faculty, and their peers.

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Family, Home, and Social Sciences



Between Citizens and Strangers: On Laïcité and Group Rights among Hmong in France

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