Parents who home-school their children could 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 be taught at home.
It is an attempt to stop children from being influenced by religious radicals, the Times reported.
It comes after the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded last month after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class during a lesson on free speech.
French President Emmanuel has since spoken out strongly against radical Islam and the new bill aims to prevent hard-line beliefs from being imposed on the country’s children.
Parents who home-school their children could face up to six months in prison under new measures to combat Islamic extremism in France (file photo)
Other measures in the legislation include ways to ensure schools can stand against demands to tone down religious and sex education classes.
They will give local councils the power to refuse separate swimming times for men and women and will also enable a crackdown on online hate speech.
Mosques could also be forced to be transparent about their overseas funding to ensure it does not come from radical sources.
The decision to outlaw home-schooling was reportedly taken after ministers said some Muslim parents were refusing to let their children go to school.
Gérald Darmanin, the interior minister, said more girls than boys were being kept at home.
‘In some areas, 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 going to school is ‘impossible for reasons relating to (the child’s) situation or that of the family’.
Parents who ignore the law could go to prison for up to six months or be fined €7,500 (£6,709).
The new law comes after French teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded last month, prompting President Emmanuel Macron to speak out against radical Islam
Each child will be given an ID number that would be used to ensure they are attending school.
‘We must save our children from the clutches of the Islamists,’ Darmanin told Le Figaro newspaper on Wednesday.
The bill also makes it an offence to share the personal information of a person in a way that allows them to be identified or located by people who want to harm them.
President Emmanuel Macron’s government has clamped down on radical Islam following the gruesome murder of Paty, who was the target of a vicious online smear campaign for showing his students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a class on free speech.
His murder sent shock waves through France, which has been repeatedly targeted by Islamist extremists since 2015, most of them French citizens.
Paty’s name was shared online by the father of one of his students, who labelled the teacher a ‘thug’ in a video calling for his dismissal over the cartoons.
The father also exchanged messages with Paty’s killer, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee who travelled more than 50 miles (80 kilometres) from his home in Normandy to attack the teacher in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, where he paid some students to point him out.
Samuel Paty (pictured), a French school teacher, was beheaded on October 16 by 18-year-old Abdoulakh Anzorov, a Chechen extremist, after showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class during a lesson on free speech
A few weeks before Paty’s death, Macron had already set out plans to tackle what he called the ‘Islamist separatism’ in poor French neighbourhoods that aimed to create a ‘counter-society’ where Islamic law prevailed.
As examples of the growing sectarianism, he cited children from ultraconservative Muslim families being taken out of school, and sporting and cultural associations being used to indoctrinate youth.
The draft law also cracks down on online hate speech of the kind suffered by Paty by allowing for suspects to be summarily tried.
‘This law is, ‘hands off my teacher, hands off 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 in cabinet on December 9, stipulates that any association that seeks public funding must agree to ‘respect the principles and values of the republic’ and return the money if found to have flouted the rules.
Earlier this month, Mr Macron warned some districts in France are ‘terrorist breeding grounds’ where ‘small girls wear full veil and are raised to hate our values’.
The French head of state painted a picture of lawless suburbs where abused infants are kept apart from children of the opposite sex.
Writing in an open letter defending his aggressive stance against Islamist extremists, he also said there are ‘hundreds of radicalised individuals’ living in France who could strike with a knife at any moment.