Grenoble street art festival in France loses funding over hijab-wearing mural

A street art piece, which depicted a woman wearing a blue striped hijab, cost its grants to a street art festival in the French city of Grenoble.

A street art festival in the French mountain town of Grenoble has had its funding suspended by the regional authority over a mural of a woman wearing the Islamic hijab, according to French media The Dauphine.

Authorities in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region claimed the mural of women wearing hijabs was “provocative” and “unacceptable”.

They claimed that showing the image fueled violence and hatred, and only benefited “extremists”.

In the artwork, titled “Bad Religion?”, a woman can be seen wearing a blue striped hijab, evoking the uniforms that Jews in Nazi concentration camps were forced to wear, and a yellow beginning of David, with the word “Muslim” written on it, once again bringing to mind fond memories of the Nazi persecution of Jews.

The artist responsible for the street art is an anonymous character, who is called ‘Goin’.

Festival director Jerome Catz said the artist wanted the mural to draw attention to the fact that some people face discrimination because of their religious beliefs.

Catz said he believed the reason for the decision to withhold €10,000 funding was “purely political” and related to France’s upcoming presidential election, scheduled for April.

The work was defaced after the announcement of the decision to suspend subsidies. Black paint was used to cover the women’s faces and the beginning of David.

French politicians and the French government have recently stepped up pressure against France’s Muslim community, raiding mosques and Islamic foundations and proposing to implement an “anti-separatism” law, which would impose restrictions on the minority French.

A French presidential candidate, Eric Zemmour, as well as the infamous Marine Le Pen, have both spread hatred against Muslims, with the former being found guilty by a court of racist hate speech.

The Grenoble Street Art Festival takes place from January 21 to March 19.

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