French hijab – IMOS Journal http://imos-journal.net/ Mon, 11 Oct 2021 12:04:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://imos-journal.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/favicon.png French hijab – IMOS Journal http://imos-journal.net/ 32 32 Footballers attack the hijab ban in France with the collective ‘Les Hijabeuses’ https://imos-journal.net/footballers-attack-the-hijab-ban-in-france-with-the-collective-les-hijabeuses/ Tue, 14 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/footballers-attack-the-hijab-ban-in-france-with-the-collective-les-hijabeuses/ Hijab-wearing footballers in France have launched a collective called “Les Hijabeuses” to pressure the French Football Federation (FFF) to change its rules on headgear. According to Al Jazeera, the discussion about what Muslim women in France can and cannot do emerged in the country after the government led by Emmanuel Macron passed the controversial “anti-separatism […]]]>

Hijab-wearing footballers in France have launched a collective called “Les Hijabeuses” to pressure the French Football Federation (FFF) to change its rules on headgear. According to Al Jazeera, the discussion about what Muslim women in France can and cannot do emerged in the country after the government led by Emmanuel Macron passed the controversial “anti-separatism bill” which is due to become law on August 24.

French lawmakers tried to use the bill to formally ban the wearing of the headscarf in all sporting competitions, but it was reportedly ruled unconstitutional by lawmakers on June 9. The bill was proposed by the Macron government last year to fight “Islamist extremism” and strengthen “secularism” (secularism). However, the bill drew serious backlash for being inclined towards far-right politics ahead of the 2022 national elections and further marginalizing Islam, even though there are at least six million Muslims in France.

Paris will also take over the Tokyo 2020 Olympic relay for the 2024 Summer Olympics and France is the only country in Europe to exclude women wearing the hijab from most national sporting competitions. However, in particular, the law states that in international competitions, including the Olympics, foreign players wearing headgear are allowed to play. This again raised questions about the French government as it specifically targets its nationals who wear the hijab.

“Les Hijabeuses” led by footballers wearing the hijab

The movement, “Les Hijabeuses”, is led by Karthoum Dembelé and other hijab-wearing footballers around Paris who face challenges competing in France. In 2020, a group of researchers and community leaders from the Citizen Alliance founded the collective. Citizen’s Alliance is also campaigning against several social injustices in the country, according to the report.

More than a year later, the Les Hijabeuses collective has nearly 150 members and nearly 5,000 followers on Instagram and even organized a demonstration at the FFF headquarters on July 23. The group would have written several letters to the president of the FF Noël Le Graët with the aim of putting an end to the exclusion of Muslim women. However, they have yet to receive a response.

“We are all fighting for more inclusive football, which includes all women,” said Dembelé Al Jazeera. “We try to make people understand that we are female athletes. It is not because we wear the hijab that we should be excluded from the field … For the FFF, now, it’s time to wake up … I think they look more at our faces than our talent .

Image: Unsplash


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Les Hijabeuses: Muslim footballers attack the French ban on the hijab | islamophobia https://imos-journal.net/les-hijabeuses-muslim-footballers-attack-the-french-ban-on-the-hijab-islamophobia/ Mon, 13 Sep 2021 11:50:35 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/les-hijabeuses-muslim-footballers-attack-the-french-ban-on-the-hijab-islamophobia/ Paris, France – Since the age of six, Karthoum Dembelé has been playing football with his older brother and his friends between the cities of the Parisian suburbs. Huge football talents have exploded in these neighborhoods in recent years, including Pogba, Mbappé and Kanté. It was here, where street football is king, that Dembelé fell […]]]>

Paris, France – Since the age of six, Karthoum Dembelé has been playing football with his older brother and his friends between the cities of the Parisian suburbs.

Huge football talents have exploded in these neighborhoods in recent years, including Pogba, Mbappé and Kanté.

It was here, where street football is king, that Dembelé fell in love with football.

But now, 19, her optimism has faded.

Not because of a lack of talent or injuries, but because of French politics. As a Muslim woman wearing the hijab, Dembelé is not allowed to play in most sports competitions in France, including football.

The French Football Federation (FFF) maintains the ban on the wearing of “conspicuous religious symbols” despite the lifting by FIFA of its own ban on the hijab in 2014.

Debates over what Muslim women can and cannot wear have resurfaced in France recently with the controversial “anti-separatism” bill, enacted into French law on August 24.

French lawmakers attempted to use the bill to formally ban headscarves in all sporting competitions, although this was deemed unconstitutional by lawmakers on June 9.

The bill, proposed by President Emmanuel Macron’s government last year, aims to tackle “Islamist extremism” and strengthen “secularism” (secularism), but it has been heavily criticized for leaning towards the extreme right before the national elections of 2022 and stigmatized Islam and the estimated 6 million Muslims in France, the most in Europe.

Paris takes over from Tokyo 2020 for the 2024 Summer Olympics and France remains the only country in Europe to exclude women wearing the hijab from participating in most national sporting competitions.

The law, however, stipulates that in international competitions – such as the Olympics – foreign players wearing a headscarf can play in France, so questions are mounting over why France is specifically targeting its own Muslim athletes wearing a headscarf. the hijab.

Les Hijabeuses – striving for inclusiveness

There is increasing pressure on the FFF to change its rules, amid calls for more representation on the pitch.

The movement is symbolized by a collective called Les Hijabeuses, led by Dembelé and other young footballers wearing the hijab around Paris.

Last year, a group of researchers and community leaders from the Citizen Alliance, who campaign against social injustices in France, founded the collective.

More than a year later, Les Hijabeuses has around 150 members and nearly 5,000 followers on Instagram. They staged a protest at the FFF headquarters on July 23 and wrote several letters to FFF president Noël Le Graët, demanding an end to the exclusion of Muslim women – but still have not received a response.

“We are all fighting for more inclusive football, which includes all women,” Dembelé told Al Jazeera. “We try to make people understand that we are female athletes. It is not because we wear the hijab that we should be excluded from the field.

“For the FFF, now it’s time to wake up … I think they look more at our faces than our talent.”

Eight members of the Hijabeuses pose for a team portrait before their training session, carrying the flag of the Alliance Citoyenne, the group of community leaders who founded Les Hijabeuses in 2020 [Alexander Durie/Al Jazeera]

A founder, Haifa Tlili, told Al Jazeera that “the position of the FFF follows the general trend in France, which, since the 1990s, has seen an increase in Islamophobic discourse”.

“The problem is, they are objectified,” Tlili said, referring to how she thinks the FFF rule impacts Muslim female footballers.

“Women no longer want to be seen only as veils, but as footballers.”

“Forced to choose between the hijab and what we like”

The rules have been criticized by some as being intentionally vague – a way of perpetuating the exclusion of Muslim athletes.

Ask any Hijabeuse player and they’ll tell you countless stories of how they were targeted on the pitch.

Founé Diawara, one of the collective’s greatest football talents, was 15 when a referee told him: “Either take off your hijab and play, or stay on the bench.

“The worst part is that her trainer didn’t even support her. She was alone, ”said Dembelé. “I find it sad because we have to choose every time, between our hijab and what we like, between our dignity and just wanting to play a sport.”

The rules of the FFF stipulate that “the wearing of any sign or clothing ostensibly expressing a political, philosophical, religious or union affiliation” is prohibited in official games.

But on another page, he mentions that “the wearing of accessories (such as bandanas, hats, etc.) which do not involve proselytism and which respect the rules of hygiene and safety is possible”.

The Hijabs want to promote inclusive football for all women, and of its 150 members, many do not wear the hijab, like Zamya Khan, pictured here smiling. The collective welcomes anyone wishing to support the causes for which Les Hijabeuses are fighting. [Alexander Durie/Al Jazeera]

This secondary rule forced footballers wearing the hijab to find subtle ways to play their favorite sport.

Bouchra Chaïb, a 27-year-old midwife and co-president of the Hijabeuses, says she managed to obtain a medical certificate stating that she had to wear a rugby helmet for health reasons during football matches.

But one day, she stepped onto a field with her helmet on, and a referee stopped her, saying she couldn’t play. Her trainer defended her because Chaïb was too shocked to answer.

“Between you and me, I know why you’re wearing that helmet,” the referee told him.

Chaib said the notion of “remarkable” religious symbols was “really vague”, both for players and officials, and could easily be used against Muslim athletes.

According to Rim-Sarah Alouane, an academic who studies religious freedom and civil liberties in France, the FFF rules are “deliberately ambiguous”.

Likewise, the “anti-separatism” bill is filled with “vague terms to justify restricting a freedom,” she said.

Authorities “still see Muslims and Islam through the lens of security,” she said – and the hijab is turned into a weapon as a symbolic enemy.

“In France, we still see diversity as a threat, even if football shows that diversity makes us stronger.”

Islamophobia as a gender, race and class issue

While the hijab ban may seem uniquely Islamophobic, experts say it cuts across issues of gender, race and class.

“The first separatism occurred when the state decided to build these large estates, to say [to the first wave of immigrants], ‘You are not part of our population,’ ”said Alouane.

A 2019 study by the Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France highlighted how Islamophobia is a form of sexist racism, reporting that 70% of victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes were women. In the same year, another report found that 44.6% of the French population viewed Muslims as a threat to national identity.

Bouchra Chaïb, 27, co-president of the Hijabeuses and one of its first players, is a goalkeeper. She said, ‘When I play with Hijabas, it’s like playing with sisters.’ [Alexander Durie/Al Jazeera]

Chaib said she started wearing the hijab when she was 13 and had been discriminated against at school and at work since then, but hoped football would be different.

“In sports, I didn’t think I was going to be lectured about secularism, but I was, and it was a big disappointment.”

She felt “a constant feeling of rejection” that almost drove her to quit football altogether.

“You have negative feelings forming within you. You want to do nothing. You say to yourself: ‘Well I’m not going to register here, I’m not going to do that, I’m not going to do that, because I’m going to be kicked out, I’m going to be humiliated once again “, then you exclude yourself, from all over. “

But the collective and the bond between women gave him hope.

“You realize you have your place,” she said with a broad smile. “When I play with the Hijabeuses, it’s like playing with sisters.

On the way to representation

Chaïb was one of the first players to be selected for Les Hijabeuses, and now that the collective is growing, wants to inspire young Muslim women across the country.

Despite France’s large Muslim population, women wearing the hijab are a rare sight in public life and in sport, due, according to some observers, to national conversations that are often hostile towards Muslims.

“I would love to see a woman wearing a hijab playing football on TV,” Dembelé said. “I find it frustrating not to be represented in football.”

According to sports activist and journalist Shireen Ahmed: “There are generations of women who didn’t bother to play football because they just couldn’t move forward.

Ahmed, an expert on Islamophobia in sports, says that while athletes should ideally be seen as more than their outfits, having more Muslim players wearing the hijab goes a long way in normalizing diversity in the public eye.

“I am not arguing for the hijab, I am arguing for the choice,” Ahmed told Al Jazeera. “We ask women to be the best sportsmen themselves, and we don’t let them decide their uniforms.”

Les Hijabeuses regularly play soccer training in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris, where many young players grew up [Alexander Durie/Al Jazeera]

She blamed not only the FFF but also FIFA for exempting France from its statutes.

“The practice of football itself and the charter, written by FIFA, are in fact violated by France,” said Ahmed. “FIFA is also complicit in supporting this.”

Responding to a request for comment, a FIFA spokesperson told Al Jazeera: “FIFA continues to monitor the situation regarding the application of the Laws of the Game within member associations.”

The FFF sent a statement to Al Jazeera, saying it “has a public service mission; he applies the laws of the Republic. It defends and defends the values ​​of secularism, living together, neutrality and the fight against all forms of discrimination, and does not authorize the display of ostentatious political or religious signs as part of the collective and public practice of football and its competitions. “

Roxana Mărăcineanu, France’s Sports Minister, did not comment due to a “very tight schedule”.

“If I were Le Graët [the FFF President], I would be most afraid of these young women, ”said Ahmed,“ because they will bring about change.

Back on the pitch, Dembelé, ready to play with a ball in his hands, said: “I would like to be this representation [to young girls], to show them that it is possible, and then they will be like, ‘I can do this, I can go far.’ “


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Muslim women feel empowered to wear the hijab https://imos-journal.net/muslim-women-feel-empowered-to-wear-the-hijab/ Sun, 12 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/muslim-women-feel-empowered-to-wear-the-hijab/ Some Americans believe that the Islamic faith is oppressive for women. In the West, especially in France, the hijab, or headscarf, worn by many Muslim women has become a symbol of this perception of oppression. Sociologist Caitlin Killian explains that Jewish, Christian and Hindu women have covered their heads since pre-Islamic times. For some Muslim […]]]>

Some Americans believe that the Islamic faith is oppressive for women. In the West, especially in France, the hijab, or headscarf, worn by many Muslim women has become a symbol of this perception of oppression.

Sociologist Caitlin Killian explains that Jewish, Christian and Hindu women have covered their heads since pre-Islamic times.

For some Muslim women today, wearing a hijab can be a religious act, a way of demonstrating their submission to God.

The Qur’an asks men and women to observe modesty in their dress and behavior.

However, the clothing of Muslim women is not only about adherence to the faith. It has been used in the past and present as an affirmation of identity.

Under colonial rule, Muslim women were encouraged to look more like European women and to remove the veil. As demands for independence from colonial rule increased, the veil, according to Killian, became a “symbol of national identity and opposition to the West.”

Today, some Muslim women in America may wear the hijab as a way to assert their pride in Islamophobia.

World Hijab Day, celebrated on February 1 from 2013, was born out of the efforts of Nazma Khan, an immigrant from Bangladesh to the United States, who was ashamed to wear a headscarf.

She decided to start a day where Muslim and non-Muslim women could experiment with wearing the head garment.

Even so, in much of the western world, the headscarf continues to be seen as representative of the oppression of Muslim women.

In Switzerland, voters approved a law in March 2021 banning face coverings, while France is pushing for a more restrictive hijab policy.

In a judgment of March 14, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union, which interprets EU law, authorized private companies in France to prohibit employees from wearing “religious, political and philosophical symbols” in a concern for “neutrality”.

Sociologist Z. Fareen Parvez said anti-veil legislation was a “turning point” in the lives of Muslim women seeking acceptance and integration into French society.

The headscarf is not only a religious symbol for many women; it is a way of being.

But this focus on Muslim women’s clothing distracts attention from other issues and from how Muslim feminist movements are trying to effect change.

In Indonesia, for example, female Muslim religious scholars, or ulama, are helping to change the way Islam is understood and practiced.

As sociologist Rachel Rinaldo says, the past three decades in Indonesia have seen the emergence of a new generation of female religious leaders who interpret the Quran in a way that empowers women.

The word of female Ulema is more accepted than that of women’s rights activists, says Rinaldo, because they are trained Islamic scholars.

A 2017 conference of Muslim religious women scholars held in Indonesia, with participants from Kenya, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, issued fatwas – non-binding religious edicts – against child marriage, sexual abuse and destruction of the environment.

The point is, like other faiths, Islam is a multifaceted religion, and Muslim women choose how they want to be heard and seen.

This article has been reviewed for accuracy by Jessica Marglin, Associate Professor of Religion at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Fact: Female ulamas in Indonesia date back to the 17th century. Queen Tajul Alam Safiatuddin Syah ruled the Islamic Kingdom of Aceh (now Indonesia’s northernmost province) for 35 years and commissioned several important books of Islamic commentary and theology.

At a time when female leaders around the world were unusual, she was the main advocate of religious authority in what was then a prosperous and peaceful kingdom, said Rinaldo, professor of sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Kalpana Jain / The Conversation (CC)

Image courtesy of the Philippine Commission on Women website


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What is the difference between a niqab, a burka and a hijab? https://imos-journal.net/what-is-the-difference-between-a-niqab-a-burka-and-a-hijab/ Wed, 18 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/what-is-the-difference-between-a-niqab-a-burka-and-a-hijab/ MANY Muslim women around the world choose to cover their hair, head and sometimes face. Concealment is seen as a symbol of modesty and a sign of religious faith – but some countries have banned niqabs, burkas and hijabs. 3 The hijab is worn by many Muslim women in the western worldCredit: Alamy What is […]]]>

MANY Muslim women around the world choose to cover their hair, head and sometimes face.

Concealment is seen as a symbol of modesty and a sign of religious faith – but some countries have banned niqabs, burkas and hijabs.

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The hijab is worn by many Muslim women in the western worldCredit: Alamy

What is a niqab?

The niqab is a veil that hides the face.

It is worn with a scarf, leaving only the eyes exposed.

The covering usually goes down to the middle of the back and can extend to the middle of the chest on the front.

The niqab is mostly worn by women in Arab countries, but some Muslim women in Western countries also choose to wear it.

What is a hijab?

The word hijab describes the act of covering up and is generally used for the type of headscarf worn by Muslim women.

A hijab covers the head and neck – but leaves the face uncovered.

World Hijab Day, February 1, is an annual event that calls on people around the world, of all faiths, to wear a hijab for a day in solidarity with Muslim women who choose to live in modesty around the world. .

The event was first celebrated in 2013 and aims to “create a more peaceful world where the citizens of the world respect each other”.

The day focuses particularly on “the fight against sectarianism, discrimination and prejudice against Muslim women”.

What is a burqa?

Covering the entire face and body, the burka is the most concealing Islamic dress form.

Those who wear the burqa have their face fully covered, with a mesh fabric covering the eyes.

The mesh panel allows the wearer to see but leaves the eyes hidden.

The burqa is often associated with Afghanistan and is also often worn in West Pakistan and other countries in Central Asia.

What is a chador?

The chador is a full-length cloak designed and worn by women when they leave their homes.

A chador is usually black and those who wear one should grab the closed chador on the front as it has no clasps or fasteners.

A smaller scarf is usually worn underneath.

The garment is most often worn in Iran.

What is a khimar?

The khimar is a long veil that falls just above waist level.

It covers the wearer’s hair, neck and shoulders but leaves the face visible.

It is popular among Egyptian women.

Which countries have banned the niqab, burka and other traditional headwear?

Over the past decade, a number of European countries have joined with African countries, including Cameroon, Chad and Niger, in banning women from wearing full face covers, often in response to a terrorist threat. increased.

Many countries have banned various forms of Islamic headgear – many over the past decade. These include:

  • Sri Lanka – The country banned the burqa in 2021 following a series of suicide bombings against coordinated attacks on hotels and churches on Easter Sunday that left at least 250 dead and hundreds injured. Officials said the blankets were a “sign of religious extremism.”
  • Tunisia – In 2019, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed banned the niqab in Tunisian government offices “for security reasons”.
  • Austria – Burqas were banned by the government in 2017. A new ban in 2019 prevents elementary school students from wearing the niqab.
  • Denmark – A law introduced in 2018 allows the police to order women to remove their veils or order them to leave public places.
  • France – First European country to introduce the ban in 2010. The law prohibits the wearing of head coverings covering the face, including masks, helmets, balaclavas, niqabs, burqas and other veils covering the face in public places, except in specified circumstances.
  • Belgium – A ban on covering the face, such as the niqab or the Islamic burqa, came into effect in 2011 for security reasons, to allow police to identify people. In 2017, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the ban on the burqa and the full Islamic veil. But from September 2021, the ban will be lifted in universities in the French-speaking Walloon region.
  • Netherlands – In 2018, the Upper House of the Dutch Parliament passed a law banning face-covering veils in public spaces such as schools, hospitals, public transport and government buildings. The measure does not apply to public roads. The scarf is allowed because the face is still visible.
  • Latvia – Although only 1,000 Muslim women live in Latvia and only three women in the country wear one, the government introduced a burqa ban in 2016.
  • Bulgaria – Bulgaria banned the burqa in 2016, women who do not comply risk seeing their benefits reduced.
  • Cameroon – The country wearing the full Islamic veil, including the burqa, in the Far North region in 2015. It came after two female suicide bombers, dressed in religious clothing, blew themselves up, killing 13 people. The governor of the predominantly Muslim region said the measure was aimed at preventing further attacks.
  • Tajikistan – Legislation requiring people to “stick to traditional national clothing and culture” was introduced in the Central Asian country in 2017. Women in Tajikistan traditionally wear a headscarf tied behind their heads, rather than a headscarf. hijab, which wraps under the chin. The ban was widely viewed as an attempt to prevent women from wearing Islamic clothing.
  • Chad – In 2015, Chad also banned people from wearing the full veil following two suicide attacks by the Nigerian militant Islamist group Boko Haram. The prime minister said the veil was being used as “camouflage” by militants and that security forces would burn all full face veils sold in the markets.
  • Congo Brazzaville – In 2015, authorities banned people from wearing the full Islamic veil, including the niqab and burqa, in public places. They also banned Muslims in other countries from spending the night in mosques as part of measures they said were designed to counter extremism.
  • Gabon – Shortly after Cameroon introduced a ban, Gabon followed suit. The country announced in 2015 that the full-face veil would not be allowed in public places and workplaces. The predominantly Christian country said it was pressured to do so because of the attacks in Cameroon.
  • China – China has banned women in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, from wearing burqas and veils to “suppress religious extremism.” The move follows decades of ethnic and religious discrimination against Xinjiang’s 10 million ethically Uyghur people.
  • Morocco – The authorities banned the manufacture, marketing and sale of the burqa in 2017.
  • Norway – The country has banned the wearing of full veils for staff in schools and nurseries.
  • Algeria – In 2018, Algerian authorities banned women from wearing the full veil, or niqab, at work, citing identifying reasons for the decision.
    A burqa is a complete one-piece covering

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A burqa is a complete one-piece coveringCredit: Alamy
    The niqab just leaves the eyes uncovered

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The niqab just leaves the eyes uncoveredCredit: Alamy

Australian politician Pauline Hanson wears burqa in Parliament ahead of clothing ban motion


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“Do not touch my hijab”: French Muslims protest against ban on religious clothing in football https://imos-journal.net/do-not-touch-my-hijab-french-muslims-protest-against-ban-on-religious-clothing-in-football/ Thu, 12 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/do-not-touch-my-hijab-french-muslims-protest-against-ban-on-religious-clothing-in-football/ Hawa Doucouré and her Les Hijabeuses soccer teammates have a simple message to convey while playing the game they love: “Hands off my hijab. This is a message they hope received not only by the French Football Federation, but also by the government of the country. “We are strong together and we will fight to […]]]>

Hawa Doucouré and her Les Hijabeuses soccer teammates have a simple message to convey while playing the game they love: “Hands off my hijab.

This is a message they hope received not only by the French Football Federation, but also by the government of the country.

“We are strong together and we will fight to the end,” Doucouré, 19, told ABC News. “We will fight until every woman can play the sport she wants to play, how she wants to play it.”

Les Hijabeuses, a collective of French footballers, have spent the last year fighting to be included in official competitions. While FIFA, the world’s soccer governing body, has allowed the Muslim veil on the pitch since 2014, the French Football Federation continues to ban it in club and international matches, telling ABC News it “Promotes and defends the values ​​of secularism, living together, neutrality and the fight against all forms of discrimination.

Stream ABC News Live Prime weekday evenings at 7 and 9 p.m. ET on abcnewslive.com

Calls for a change in players are part of a larger movement against the country’s ban on religious symbols and clothing, including niqabs and burqas. The latest controversy concerns an amendment proposed earlier this year that prohibits minors from wearing the hijab in public.

France currently prohibits officials and students from wearing religious symbols, except in universities. Proposals that were also discussed included banning Muslim mothers from wearing the hijab on school trips and Muslim women wearing burkinis or full swimsuits. They were ultimately removed from the bill in one of the legislative rounds.

Rim-Sarah Alouane, lawyer and religious freedom researcher living in Toulouse, noted: “These conversations will continue.

“There was a time when the French would hold unveiling ceremonies and you had a group of French women surrounding a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf celebrating the fact that she was taking off her headscarf, usually by force, to say, ‘Now you are the welcome to our company, ”said Alouane.

There is currently no law in France specifically prohibiting the hijab in sports competitions. Les Hijabeuses said they have yet to receive a response from the French Football Federation on why it has gone beyond the rule of law to restrict the wearing of the hijab in official sports competitions, even if FIFA allows it.

The French government said it passed these laws in the name of security and secularism, and that the law strengthened its ability to adhere to principles of neutrality in government institutions. However, critics of the law argue that it will further fuel racism and discrimination in France, which is home to the largest population of Muslims in Western Europe. The country has seen an alarming rise in Islamophobia in recent years, in part due to a wave of terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists and the subsequent strengthening of far-right politics.

Doucouré and her teammates are part of a movement of female athletes around the world challenging patriarchal norms to dress a certain way during competition.

At the Tokyo Olympics, Germany’s women’s gymnastics team wore full body suits instead of the more revealing leotards. The Norwegian women’s beach handball team, meanwhile, wore shorts instead of bikinis during the Beach Handball EURO 2021 competition.

The German women’s gymnastics team had complied with the existing rules of the International Gymnastics Federation and therefore suffered no consequences. The Norwegian women’s beach handball team were, however, fined 1,500 euros (around $ 1,700) by the EURO 2021 beach handball disciplinary committee for “inappropriate clothing”, according to a statement from the European Handball Federation. Singer Pink then offered to pay the fine for the team.

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, a former Division I college basketball player, said that when it came to deciding between wearing Muslim clothes or continuing to play basketball, she chose her faith. She continued to advocate for Muslim women in sport, and in 2017 her efforts paid off when the International Basketball Federation changed its rules to allow headgear – while noting that there was no had no health safety issues doing so.

Now, she says that not only are Muslim women allowed to wear headgear, “Jewish men can wear kippahs, and Sikh men who wear turbans can all participate.” So this rule change was important for the greater good.

It’s a struggle which Abdul-Qaadir says has been a “difficult” part of his “journey” in his athletic career. Doucouré said times have changed for Muslim women.

“Today, women are visible,” said Doucouré. “We’re not like the kind of hijabi they think we are. They get the idea of ​​the hijabi struggling around the house, cleaning the house, having no life. When they see young people. women wear it – play sports, educated – they don’t want to see it because it contradicts their view of the hijab. “


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Man crushes two women in Iran for ‘bad hijab’ https://imos-journal.net/man-crushes-two-women-in-iran-for-bad-hijab/ Mon, 09 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/man-crushes-two-women-in-iran-for-bad-hijab/ Chief Justice Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei ordered an urgent investigation into an alleged attack on Sunday against two women in Orumieh, capital of northwestern Iran province in western Azerbaijan, so as not to not having respected the Islamic dress code (hijab). According to Iranian media, a man was arrested after crushing the women in a vehicle after […]]]>

Chief Justice Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei ordered an urgent investigation into an alleged attack on Sunday against two women in Orumieh, capital of northwestern Iran province in western Azerbaijan, so as not to not having respected the Islamic dress code (hijab).

According to Iranian media, a man was arrested after crushing the women in a vehicle after an argument over their clothes, which he found inappropriate. The two women, one of whom was reportedly seriously injured, were taken to the emergency room at the nearest hospital.

The man would have acted on the notion of “forbidding good and forbidding evil”, which is exalted in the Qur’an. The hijab, modest attire, is required in public by Iranian law.

The first week of the month of Moharram in the Islamic lunar calendar, which begins on August 10 of this year, is dedicated in Iran to “forbidding good and forbidding evil”. Meeting with judicial officials on Monday, Mohseni-Ejei honored the occasion and stressed the judicial duty to “support those who advocate good and forbid evil and uphold Islamic values.”

Behnam Delrish, representative of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the government-funded “ban good and ban evil” organization in West Azerbaijan condemned the Orumieh incident on Monday and said it would not be not allowed to undermine the importance of the practice.

In September 2014, more than a dozen women were attacked with acid in Isfahan and one died. All women wore the common hijab of coat and headscarf rather than a longer black chador from head to toe. Authorities still condemn physical assaults on women, but prosecution of perpetrators is rare.


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The Hijab test in Europe: the headscarf war and the death of multiculturalism https://imos-journal.net/the-hijab-test-in-europe-the-headscarf-war-and-the-death-of-multiculturalism/ Wed, 04 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/the-hijab-test-in-europe-the-headscarf-war-and-the-death-of-multiculturalism/ In mid-July, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that private employers in the EU can prohibit employees from wearing religious symbols, including headscarves, in order to present an image of ” political, philosophical and religious neutrality ”in the workplace. The verdict reaffirmed a 2017 CJEU ruling and highlights long-standing tensions over […]]]>

In mid-July, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that private employers in the EU can prohibit employees from wearing religious symbols, including headscarves, in order to present an image of ” political, philosophical and religious neutrality ”in the workplace. The verdict reaffirmed a 2017 CJEU ruling and highlights long-standing tensions over multiculturalism in Europe. In particular, this raises the question of whether there is a place for visibly Muslim women in European public life.

I have spent the last few months interviewing Muslim women, many of whom are citizens and residents of European countries, about their representation in the media and their perception of belonging to their country. While many have reported similar experiences of ostracism or harassment, European women, especially those who choose to wear the hijab (head covering), have told me over and over again: not to exist ”. The hijab is more than a religious symbol for those who wear it. Muslim women cover their hair by tradition, to maintain a link with their cultural heritage or for reasons of modesty. Several young European women I spoke to explained that they wore the hijab despite protests from their immigrant families, who did not want them to be subjected to undue scrutiny or discrimination at work.

But their choice comes at a high personal cost. The widespread misperception of the hijab as a symbol of a supposedly misogynistic Islamic culture has made women who wear one feel like faceless and nameless ‘victims’ who must be saved, instead of empowered individuals. make a personal decision. “It’s frustrating because [the media] always brings out [sic] male family members, ”said one of them, Sama, in a message she sent me from Italy. “It’s like, ‘Did your father force you to make this choice that I made? the hijab. The problem, she says, is that “it’s never about the objective garment, it’s about what the garment symbolizes. [to them]. “

The recent decision of the CJEU resurfaces the tensions between the right to freedom of religion and the growing unease of Europeans with the visible face of Islam in the region. Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights sets the bar very high to limit the manifestation of freedom of religion. But the CJEU’s 2017 and 2021 judgments appear to give more weight to the concept of overall ‘neutrality’ and, in the case of its recent ruling, to the effect on others – a question that already weighs heavily in the mind. many Muslim women. Several women I spoke to described exhausting mental exercise before leaving home – what I call the “friendly enough” test. “Muslim women look at themselves in the mirror in the morning and say to themselves, ‘Do I sound friendly? Do I look accessible? ‘ Maha, a journalist, explained. And it’s not just the men that these women worry about judgment. Khadija, a young Franco-Algerian woman, confessed that she once stopped to put on lipstick before going to an interview for a babysitting job. “I told them I was wearing the hijab ahead of time. I don’t know why I did that, preparing them for me, ”she said. “I took out my lipstick and put it on so that [the mother] can see that I am French, [that] I am not a terrorist.

These psychological tensions underline the heartbreaking choice imposed on European Muslim women today between their faith and identity on the one hand, and their nationality on the other. While most European girls can dream of pursuing whatever career they want, Muslim girls in Europe face a demoralizing warning: “but you can’t wear the hijab”. In a post- # MeToo world where young women are increasingly being taught to empower themselves, Muslim women in Europe are held back by legislation and being told that their very appearance is problematic. Khadija went on to tell me that the experience of taking off her hijab for a job when she was 19 left her disparaged and ashamed. “It made me feel like I was nothing,” she said. “I’m not like everyone else. I am a little lower. She went on to ask, rhetorically, “What gives you the right to do this?” “

Despite Europe’s displayed values ​​of emancipation, freedom and self-sufficiency, the dearth of Muslim voices in the European public debate on the hijab leaves many young women with little hope that the conversation will change. In a blatant display of hypocrisy, some of the European politicians who denounce Islam as repressive, anti-feminist laws that threaten to deprive Muslim women of their free will. “Muslim women exist and have things to say when the subject concerns them,” Soumaya, 15, told me. “We are not objects, we think, we feel, we have free will, we are strong and intelligent and, above all, capable.” But, she said, “the media don’t want to recognize it. That’s a shame.”

Rather than wondering if Islam is liberal enough to belong to Europe, the most relevant question today seems to be whether Europe is liberal enough to accept its Muslim female citizens – regardless of what they dress. – in public life. The debate will undoubtedly continue in European courts. In the meantime, the lives and livelihoods of the region’s female Muslim population are at stake. As one young woman resignedly told me, “I have to wait for a woman who does not wear the hijab or who ‘a man is fighting for me, because at the moment I do not exist. I am no one.”

‘Europe’s Hijab Test’ – Commentary by Jasmine M. El-Gamal – Project Syndicate.

Commentary can be downloaded here


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French hijab ban risks further excluding Muslim girls from sports – EURACTIV.com https://imos-journal.net/french-hijab-ban-risks-further-excluding-muslim-girls-from-sports-euractiv-com/ Wed, 21 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/french-hijab-ban-risks-further-excluding-muslim-girls-from-sports-euractiv-com/ The French Senate’s vote this month to amend the country’s “separatism” bill aims to ban the wearing of the hijab in athletic competitions, which many say risks further excluding Muslim girls from sports practice. EURACTIV France reports. The French upper legislative chamber voted in favor of amending the bill strengthening respect for the principles of […]]]>

The French Senate’s vote this month to amend the country’s “separatism” bill aims to ban the wearing of the hijab in athletic competitions, which many say risks further excluding Muslim girls from sports practice. EURACTIV France reports.

The French upper legislative chamber voted in favor of amending the bill strengthening respect for the principles of the Republic include the following sentence: “The wearing of conspicuous religious symbols is prohibited for participation in sports events and competitions organized by sports federations and affiliated associations.

According to Faduma Olow Telegraph Columnist, this can be considered the death knell of athletic competition for young Muslim women wearing the hijab. While the ban is justified as a measure to advance women’s rights, it will have the opposite effect, Olow warned. “Thanks to the new French law, girls across the country will be even more excluded from all sports,” she said.

“France believes it is liberating Muslim women from a life of oppression,” said Olow, adding that “this inferiority complex that Muslim women are supposed to suffer from is absurd, insulting and the complete opposite of the empowerment “.

“Forcing women to wear certain clothes is an abuse of power,” but so is wanting to “regulate women’s bodies” by forbidding them to wear certain clothes, she added.

The veil ban, a step back for Muslim athletes

Allowing the wearing of the hijab in sport would in part facilitate the emancipation of Muslim women by allowing them to reconcile the practice of sport with their personal beliefs, Olow explained.

A few have already worn the hijab in competition. This includes American fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who in 2016 became the first American Muslim woman wearing the hijab to compete and win a medal at the Olympics, and Britain’s Khadijah Mellah, who in 2019 was the first to win a race. of horses in the country. On World Hijab Day, February 1, Muhammad praised on Twitter the “hijab-wearing athletes who break down barriers and reach their full potential through sport”.

In football, on the other hand, while the International Football Federation (FIFA) has allowed Muslim female footballers to wear the hijab since 2014, the French Football Federation (FFF) continues to ban the hijab for secular reasons, thus remaining “the the only international body to exclude women wearing the hijab from sport, ”said Olow.

“No one will force us to remove it”

French footballers had already protested against the ban last year by creating a collective called The Hijabeuses, stressing that “secularism is not intolerance” and demanding “football for all”. “Do I have to choose between my religious beliefs and the right to practice my sport? One of them asked in a video posted on Youtube.

“No one has forced us to wear our headscarves, no one will force us to take it off,” an activist from the Citizens’ Alliance, an association that supports the group, told EURACTIV in reaction to the Senate vote. The ban on the French football federation would be “discriminatory, intolerant and unfair” and would deprive “hundreds of people of the practice of their favorite sport in competition”, lamented the collective.

However, the tightening of the rules by the French Senate – described as Islamophobic by Ibtihaj Muhammad – risks worsening the situation. “Girls will be excluded and their participation in sport – already at a great disadvantage compared to Muslim boys – will suffer from this regulation,” Olow warned.

“The message is clear,” she continued, asserting that “Muslims are welcome, but their visibility is not. And again, it is women who will be the most affected. “

[Edited by Frédéric Simon]



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French hijab wearers must navigate politics to keep their identity https://imos-journal.net/french-hijab-wearers-must-navigate-politics-to-keep-their-identity/ Mon, 01 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/french-hijab-wearers-must-navigate-politics-to-keep-their-identity/ PARIS Few subjects trigger as many reactions in French politics as Muslim women wearing the veil and headscarf, or the hijab, who once again find themselves at the center of the controversy as far-right leader Marine Le Pen has last week proposed a national ban on clothing on the streets and in public places. The […]]]>

PARIS

Few subjects trigger as many reactions in French politics as Muslim women wearing the veil and headscarf, or the hijab, who once again find themselves at the center of the controversy as far-right leader Marine Le Pen has last week proposed a national ban on clothing on the streets and in public places.

The day before World Hijab Day, February 1, activists from the feminist group Nemesis, dressed in floating black burqas, organized a demonstration in front of the Trocadero, overlooking the Eiffel Tower. They were holding a large banner that read “France in 50 years”, visually affirming that it is the future of the country if the “creeping Islamists” are not brought under control.

“World hijab day is an ideological weapon aimed at trivializing the veil, it is a real insult to women who are forced to wear it. As identity feminists, we wanted to show the French the face of France in 50 years if the Islamists and their accomplices win, “the group said in a statement, adding that the Paris police had arrested the group’s president for this. peaceful action. “It’s not a fantasy, for our daughters, let’s fight before it’s too late,” they said.

France has some of the most restrictive laws in Europe against public display of religion and religious symbols. Girls in school are already banned from wearing the hijab, while full-face burqas were banned in public in 2010. Several municipalities have adopted a burkini ban prohibiting women from wearing full-body swimsuits. beaches, although this was later challenged in court and suspended but continues to be in force irregularly.

Nevertheless, clothing associated with Islam and Muslims is often attacked on the grounds that it is a “symbol of Islamic extremism and separatism”.

Still, a growing number of French fashion brands run by veiled women have popped up in recent years, selling modest fashion options ranging from hijabs and turbans to full coverings like jilbabs and burkinis. The 36th edition of “Oriental Fashion” week, which just ended, alongside Paris Fashion Week in January, featured kaftans, dressing gowns and wide-legged palazzo pants, illustrating well the growing clientele for such a fashion.

The popularity of these companies shows that beyond politics and discrimination, there is an ever increasing demand and a vast market to tap into in France, which is home to the largest Muslim minority in Europe.

“The bans imposed will not change the behavior of Muslims, quite the contrary. The more we ban such fashion, the more enthusiasm it arouses,” said Bassma Wehbe, founder of Nice designer Zaynab and online brand specializing in Islamic clothing. from comfortable designers. Its range of high-end bespoke clothing is designed to make veiled Muslim women “feel free and true to our religion,” she said.

“Many Muslim women find it difficult to put together practical and stylish sports and beach wardrobes by doing ‘the best’ with what they have on hand. So yes, there is a very large market to be conquered and the community has great purchasing power too, ”Wehbe said, noting that his brand’s hijabs recorded high annual sales, with demand for burkinis increasing during the year. summer time.

Myriam Garrigues, 32-year-old self-taught stylist and owner of Mimoza, a Toulouse-based brand that designs Islamic outfits for women, men and children, feels that interest is growing modestly thanks to the open-mindedness of the younger generation. . who has no desire to assert his identity and refuses to give up his choices as the older generations have done.

In her own experience as a veiled young woman, Myriam says she has never been the victim of professional discrimination even if her outfit has elicited negative reactions in some cases, almost preventing her from taking the final exams or entering university. “But, as long as the law allowed me to wear it, I was able to assert my rights. To do this, it is essential to know our rights and not be afraid to demand that they be respected” , she said.

Wearing the veil still comes at a high cost for many other professional women who are often forced to choose between their religious identity or their career.

A senior duty officer employed by a private airline, who prefers to be named Rachida in this story, remembers how her French boss was alarmed when she decided to start wearing the hijab seven years ago and refused to help him get a uniform with his head. coating, which was readily available in neighboring Britain. “He was like, ‘But why? You are so beautiful, so why the hijab?'”

Rachida then began to notice changes among the immigration staff at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. The customs officer, who knew her familiar face, now regularly pointed the finger at her, while in the historic city center of Paris and on the Champs Elysees, she was arrested by the police who asked her to see her papers. “I didn’t understand why they were behaving this way, even though I’m at the airport for work every two weeks. And all of this only started to happen after I started to cover my head. “

While Rachida was fortunate enough to work in a company that supported her and allowed her to wear the hijab as part of her uniform, Yousra, another Muslim woman wearing the hijab who preferred to hide her real name in this article, said faced discrimination which led to her dismissal on two occasions. because of his scarf.

Once, while working in a women’s boutique in Paris, her manager refused to extend her contract, while at a subsequent job at a real estate agency, a client specifically complained about her headscarf. In both places, she was explicitly told that she could not work with her hijab.

A 2018 study by sociologist Hanane Karimi reinforces the general feeling that Muslim women in France are dissuaded from entering the labor market due to Islamophobia and discrimination, pushing them instead towards social entrepreneurship and employment. self-employment.

Karimi’s study found that the desire to “start her own business was both an expression of a refusal to negotiate the right to wear the hijab, which is integral to her identity as a Muslim woman, and a act of overcoming negative stereotypes. to which they are subject.

Yousra’s story is such that it confirms Karimi’s conclusions. A business school graduate, she made the headscarf an asset by creating her own real estate agency. “There are very few veiled women who work in real estate and Muslim or other religious clients contact me because they know that I have principles,” she confirms with a smile.

Rachida and Yousra admit that while things have turned in their favor so far, for many other French women wearing the hijab, the challenges of aspiring to a career and the inner struggle to stay true to their faith are made more difficult in the past. the current political context. environment. Both believe that if the situation in France worsens amid the rise of right-wing politics, they may have to immigrate to other countries.

Bassma also believes that the government does not have the right to prohibit women from wearing the hijab in public places because “it would have an impact on our freedom and our human rights”.

“When the government cannot solve the real problems like health care and rising unemployment, they try to create problems and tell people that they have a solution to solve them,” Rachida summed up his feelings about it. vis-à-vis the legislation proposed by the Macron government against the so-called “Islamist separatist” and the counter-bill proposed by Le Pen, targeting the entire Muslim population. “I won’t take my hijab off for Le Pen,” she said confidently.

Myriam has also noticed a change following debates over the government’s proposal that raises questions about young children wearing the hijab. She revealed that weeks after the issue was raised in the National Assembly in January, her brand was “entitled to scrutiny by authorities including the police, tax system, social security and labor inspector.” . “I guess it wasn’t an accident,” she reluctantly admits.

The Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Distribution System (HAS), and in summary form. Please contact us for subscription options.


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Algerian feminists react to French Hijab Day celebrated by students of Sciences Musulmanes Pro https://imos-journal.net/algerian-feminists-react-to-french-hijab-day-celebrated-by-students-of-sciences-musulmanes-pro/ Mon, 25 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0000 https://imos-journal.net/algerian-feminists-react-to-french-hijab-day-celebrated-by-students-of-sciences-musulmanes-pro/ Algerian feminists reacted with fury to the controversial “Hijab Day” held last Wednesday at an elite Parisian university. The backlash came as Sciences Po University invited classmates to wear the Muslim headscarf for a day to raise awareness of the treatment of women wearing the hijab. One woman said she wanted to “cry out my […]]]>

Algerian feminists reacted with fury to the controversial “Hijab Day” held last Wednesday at an elite Parisian university.

The backlash came as Sciences Po University invited classmates to wear the Muslim headscarf for a day to raise awareness of the treatment of women wearing the hijab.

One woman said she wanted to “cry out my revolt” against the day while another asked why the rights of veiled women should be highlighted in relation to the plight of unveiled women in the world.

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The invitation of the Hijab Day Facebook page to the event which was intended to highlight the discrimination faced by women who wear the Muslim headscarf on a daily basis – but which was criticized by Algerian feminists

The Hijab Day event took place following Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ controversial statement that he wanted to ban all forms of religious headscarves in French universities.

Marieme Helie Lucas, the Algerian founder of “Secularism is a question of women”, argued that “the right to the veil” in France was already “well defended”.

She said more attention needed to be paid to unveiled women who were abused around the world, citing Nigerian girls who were “forcibly converted, veiled and sold as slaves” by militant Islamic group Boko Haram ” and Iraqi women “in the hands of ‘ISIS or’ Daesh ‘.

She wrote on The Alliance for Workers’ Freedom website: “Who, today in France, defends the right not to veil, when necessary?”

Ms Lucas added: “Who defended him when Algerian women were slaughtered by armed fundamentalist groups in the 1990s? Who does what today for the Nigerian girls who are forcibly converted, veiled and sold as slaves by Boko Haram and who are still being held by them. Or for Iraqi women in the hands of Daesh?

She added: “Why so many voices for the rights of veiled women and so few for those who are not veiled, whether they are Muslims or not?”

Hijab Day organizer Laetitia Demaya said the event was designed to

Hijab Day organizer Laetitia Demaya said the event was designed to “raise awareness, open debate and give voice to women who are often debated in public but rarely heard”.

Meanwhile, Lalia Ducos, president of the Women’s Initiative for Citizenship and Universal Rights (WICUR), added that by considering veiled women as the “only ‘representatives’ of Islam,” people risked to discriminate against Muslim women who do not wear the veil.

She spoke of Algerian women killed by fundamentalist groups during the Algerian civil war in the 1990s, with the death toll – including men – estimated at 200,000.

She wrote: “In the name of all the Algerian women who were murdered for refusing the diktat of the dress code, I want to cry out my revolt against this” day “organized by these same students who are supposed to become the elite of our country .

“It is not acceptable that veiled women are discriminated against, however, by confusing religion and culture, by considering veiled women as the only ‘representatives’ of Islam, we run the risk of discriminating against the vast majority of Muslim women. which do not veil. and who fight for the separation between religion and politics, that is to say for secularism, and for the universality of rights.

Ms Ducos added: “The veil is above all designed as a flag that makes fundamentalists more visible: it is mainly political, just like the clothes worn by these men imitating the Taliban.

“Islamist fundamentalism is a totalitarian ideology that manipulates Islam for political ends.

An Algerian sociologist argued that

An Algerian sociologist argued that “the right to the veil” in France was already “well defended” and that more focus was needed on unveiled women who were abused around the world.

The women’s comments come nearly a week after Hijab Day – which the day’s Facebook page said would help participating students “experience the stigma experienced by veiled women in France.”

“It is about raising awareness, opening the debate and giving a voice to women who are often debated in public but rarely heard,” said Laetitia Demaya, one of the organizers.

Philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Levy tweeted: “Hijab Day at Sc Po. When will there ever be a Sharia Day? Stoning? Slavery?”

“It is a provocation and we denounce the religious nature of the event,” said Carla Sasiela, president of the UNI student union. Local.

Her group said the event is a “total contradiction of the values ​​of the Republic and respect for women’s rights”.

Writing on its Facebook page, the student wing of the far-right Front National (FN) criticized an initiative from a “Parisian middle class disconnected from social reality”.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls recently made a controversial statement that he wanted to ban all forms of religious headscarves in French universities.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls recently made a controversial statement that he wanted to ban all forms of religious headscarves in French universities.

One woman wrote:

One woman wrote: “On behalf of all the Algerian women who were murdered for refusing the diktat of the dress code, I want to cry out my revolt against this” day “organized by these same students who are supposed to become the elite of our country”

“This initiative is particularly nauseating as women around the world struggle to get rid of their chains. In Iran, for example, women get acid thrown in their faces if they don’t wear the veil, ”he said.

The university distanced itself from the initiative in a statement on Twitter, saying the fact that it was taking place on campus “should not be interpreted as support.”

The University of Sciences Po distanced itself from the initiative on Twitter, saying that the fact that it takes place on campus

Sciences Po University distanced itself from the initiative on Twitter, saying the fact that it is taking place on campus “should not be interpreted as support” (file photo of a woman muslim in hijab)

Sciences Po’s Hijab Day came just days after French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he wanted all forms of Muslim headscarves to be banned in universities.

In an interview with the daily Liberation, Prime Minister Valls said France should “protect” French Muslims from extremist ideology.

He said the headscarf, when worn for political reasons, oppresses women and is not “a fashion or consumer item like any other”.

When asked whether the headscarf should be banned in universities, Mr. Valls reportedly said “it should be done, but there are constitutional rules that make this ban difficult”.

Wearing the full veil in public spaces has been prohibited by French law since April 2011.

The 2010 “Law prohibiting concealment of the face in public space” applies not only to full veils or burqas worn by some Muslim women, but to all headgear covering the face, including masks, helmets and balaclavas.

The only exceptions are when ordered otherwise under French law – such as motorcycle helmets while riding or for work requiring the face to be covered for health and safety reasons.


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