"The court observed that the purpose of the restriction on the applicants' right to manifest their religious convictions was toadhere to the requirements of secularism in state schools," the European Court of Human Rights said, reported Reuters.
Two French Muslim girls, aged 11 and 12, had been expelled from school in 1999 after refusing to take off their hijab uring sport classes.
The school claimed that hijab was incompatible with physical education classes.
The two students took their case to a French court, which backed the school's decision.
The pair took their complaint to the European court that their school had violated their freedom of religion and their right toan education.
France banned hijab in state schools in 2004, sparking a heated debate over freedom and equality within the Europeancountry.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one's affiliations.
France is home to nearly seven million Muslims, the biggest Muslim minority in Europe.
The Strasbourg-based court said that the expulsion of the two Muslim girls was not "discriminatory".
It said the decision was based on secularism requirements and not on any objections to the girls' religious beliefs.
The European court said that the school has sought to balance the interests of the girls with respect for France's secularmodel.
"It was clear that the applicants' religious convictions were fully taken into account in relation to the requirements ofprotecting the rights and freedoms of others and public order."
Hijab has taken central stage in the West since the French hijab ban in 2004.
Last year, a Canadian girl was thrown out from a national Judo tournament for wearing hijab.
In March 2007, an 11-year-old girl in Quebec was expelled from a soccer game for the same reason.
Related Links:No Hijab At Schools: UK Minister
Hijab Makes Me Stronger
Canada Hijab Phobia Spreads to Judo
For US Muslim Girls, Hijab No Obstacle
France Rejects "Submissive" Muslim Wife