Parents who home-school their children face up to six months in prison under new measures to combat Islamic extremism in France.
The bill, which was unveiled on Wednesday, will make it a crime for children to learn at home.
This is an attempt to prevent children from being influenced by religious radicals, The Times reported.
This follows the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty, beheaded last month after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his class during a free speech class.
French President Emmanuel has since spoken out strongly against radical Islam and the new bill aims to prevent radical beliefs being imposed on the country’s children.
Parents who home-school their children face up to six months in prison under new measures to counter Islamic extremism in France (file photo)
Other measures in the legislation include ways to ensure that schools can resist demands for cuts in religious and sex education classes.
They will give local councils the power to deny separate bathing times for men and women and will also help crack down on hate speech online.
Mosques may also be required to be transparent about their funding overseas to ensure that it does not come from radical sources.
The decision to ban homeschooling was reportedly taken after ministers said some Muslim parents refused to let their children go to school.
Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of the Interior, said that more girls than boys were kept at home.
“In some regions, there are more boys than girls when we know that statistically, more girls are born. It’s a scandal, ”he said in comments reported by The Times.
Home schooling will only be allowed if “Impossible for reasons related to the situation (of the child) or that of the family”.
Parents who ignore the law could go to jail for up to six months or be fined € 7,500 (£ 6,709).
The new law comes after the beheading of French professor Samuel Paty last month, prompting President Emmanuel Macron to denounce radical Islam
Each child will be given an identification number which will be used to ensure they are attending school.
“We must save our children from the clutches of the Islamists,” Darmanin told Le Figaro on Wednesday.
The bill also makes it an offense to share a person’s personal information in a way that allows them to be identified or located by people who want to harm them.
President Emmanuel Macron’s government cracked down on radical Islam following the gruesome murder of Paty, who was the target of a vicious online smear campaign for showing his students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a classroom on freedom of speech.
His assassination sent shock waves through France, which has been repeatedly targeted by Islamist extremists since 2015, mostly French citizens.
Paty’s name was shared online by the father of one of his students, who called the teacher a “thug” in a video calling for his dismissal over the cartoons.
The father also exchanged messages with the killer of Paty, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee who traveled more than 80 kilometers from his home in Normandy to attack the teacher in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where he paid some students to report it.
Samuel Paty (pictured), a French teacher, was beheaded on October 16 by Abdulakh Anzorov, 18, a Chechen extremist, after showing controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his class during a lesson on free speech .
Weeks before Paty’s death, Macron had already made plans to tackle what he called “Islamist separatism” in poor French neighborhoods that aimed to create a “counter-society” where Islamic law would prevail.
As examples of growing sectarianism, he cited children from ultra-conservative Muslim families withdrawn from school and sports and cultural associations used to indoctrinate young people.
The bill also clamps down on online hate speech of the kind Paty suffers from by allowing suspects to be summarily tried.
“This law is,” drop my teacher, ignores the values of the republic, “Dupond-Moretti told RTL radio.
NGOs and charities suspected of being infiltrated by radical Islamists are also in the government’s sights.
The bill, which will be presented to cabinet on December 9, stipulates that any association seeking public funding must agree to “respect the principles and values of the republic” and return the money if it broke the rules.
Earlier this month, Mr Macron warned that parts of France were “breeding grounds for terrorism” where “little girls wear full veils and are raised to hate our values.”
The French head of state painted a picture of anarchic suburbs where abused infants are separated from children of the opposite sex.
In an open letter defending his aggressive stance against Islamist extremists, he also said that there were “hundreds of radicalized individuals” living in France who could strike with a knife at any time.