On Tuesday, French President Jacques Chirac named Dominique de Villepin France's new prime minister. News of this development was received very well by Sikhs in India, who are "recalling [de Villepin's] promise as Foreign Minister last year over the Sikh turban issue" in France.
Specifically, "During his Indian visit in February last year, Mr Villepin... told reporters at a Delhi hotel that the French Government would work out a solution for turban-wearing Sikh pupils caught up in Paris' secularity law." The law in question bans students in French public schools from wearing overt articles of faith, including Islamic headscarves, Jewish skullcaps, Christian crosses and Sikh turbans.
A prominent Sikh leader noted, "The appointment of Mr Villepin... as France's new Prime Minister has raised Sikh hopes."
In a related story, the Washington Times today is featuring an article entitled, "France's ban on veils judged a success." The article notes that French "education officials say the legislation has improved the integration of students into French public schools."
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