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‘Legislation in opposition to Islam’: French vote in favour of hijab ban condemned

As a part of the ‘anti-separatism’ invoice, the French Senate has voted for outlawing the scarf for minors in public.

A bid by the French Senate to ban women below 18 from carrying the hijab in public has drawn condemnation, with the hashtag #HandsOffMyHijab circulating extensively on social media.

The hijab is a headband worn by many Muslim girls and has been the topic of a decades-long feud in France.

The French Senate’s transfer comes as a part of Paris’s push to introduce a so-called “anti-separatism” invoice which it says goals to bolster the nation’s secular system, however critics have denounced, arguing it singles out the minority Muslim inhabitants.

Whereas debating the proposed laws on March 30, senators accredited an modification to the invoice calling for the “prohibition within the public area of any conspicuous spiritual signal by minors and of any costume or clothes which might signify inferiority of girls over males”.

The ban just isn’t but regulation, with France’s Nationwide Meeting required to log off on the change earlier than it could actually take impact.

However a backlash to the modification was swift, with some suggesting the proposed rule amounted to a “regulation in opposition to Islam”.

“Age to consent to intercourse in France: 15 Age to consent to hijab: 18 Let that sink in. It isn’t a regulation in opposition to the hijab. It’s a regulation in opposition to Islam. #Handsoffmyhijab #FranceHijabBan,” one Twitter person wrote.


One other posted: “I believed we already had this coated. Forcing a lady to put on a hijab is unsuitable. Identical to forcing her to take it off is unsuitable. It’s HER alternative.”


The difficulty additionally attracted the eye of a number of high-profile figures.

On Instagram, Olympic athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad shared a put up suggesting the Senate’s modification indicated “Islamophobia is deepening in France”.

“That is what occurs once you normalize anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim hate speech, bias, discrimination, and hate crimes – Islamophobia written into regulation,” the put up mentioned.

Amani al-Khatahtbeh, founding father of Muslim Ladies’s Day and the web site Muslim Lady, additionally weighed in on the controversy.

“No authorities ought to regulate how a lady can costume, whether or not to maintain it on or take it off,” she tweeted, referencing the hijab.

Somali-born mannequin Rawdah Mohamed instructed the French Senate’s transfer had put it on “the unsuitable aspect of equality”.

“The Hijab ban is hateful rhetoric coming from the very best degree of presidency and can go down as an unlimited failure of non secular values and equality,” she posted on Instagram.

The Nationwide Meeting, France’s decrease chamber which is dominated by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist La République En Marche (LREM) occasion, voted overwhelmingly in favour of the invoice on February 16 earlier than it was handed as much as the conservative-led Senate.

The laws has been debated in a extremely charged environment in France after three assaults late final yr, together with the beheading on October 16 of instructor Samuel Paty, who had proven his college students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad throughout a lesson on free speech.

The regulation doesn’t particularly point out the phrase Islam, however French Muslims have for months protested in opposition to it, saying a number of of its measures single them out.

Amnesty Worldwide final month warned the proposed regulation posed a “critical assault on rights and freedoms in France” and known as for “many problematic provisions” of the invoice to be scrapped or amended.

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