The French Senate votes to ban the hijab for Muslim women under 18; UC students speak out | News
Sarah Saadeh, a Palestinian and Filipino second-year political science and international affairs student at the University of Cincinnati (UC), remembers walking home from school on a grade eight day on September 11. Saadeh was followed by a group of teenagers on bicycles who were shouting at him, âOh, this is your vacation, isn’t it! She was terrified. She had no choice but to hope that the young men would eventually pass her so that she could finish walking to her home in Columbus, Ohio, in peace.
That day was close to Eid al-Fitr, due to the holiday following the Islamic lunar calendar. Also known as âEidâ, a holy day celebrated by people who practice Islam.
The teens have hinted that Saadeh and other Muslims are celebrating 9/11, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
According to Saadeh, living with racism will be inevitable forever. It was no surprise to her when the French Senate voted on March 30 in favor of “the ban in public space of all ostentatious religious symbols by minors and of all clothing or clothing that would signify any questioning of women. on men “.
This law is not yet in force, but is part of the Separatism bill that has been proposed.
As a result, Muslim women under the age of 18 would be prohibited from wearing their hijab, a religious blanket worn by Muslim women to cover their hair after the onset of puberty, in public places. Mothers who wear the hijab would not be allowed to attend school trips and Burkinis, a fully covered swimsuit also worn by Muslim women, would be prohibited in public swimming pools.
However, this is not the first time that France has banned religious blankets for Muslim women. In 2004, wearing the hijab in public schools was banned. In 2010, France banned niqabs and burqas, religious face coverings.
France continued to restrict religious face coverings even though masks are required due to the pandemic.
Saadeh says it is Islamophobia that is continually enshrined in law. “I think because of the terrorist attacks they are trying to use that to push back a whole community,” she said.
For Saadeh, wearing a hijab means more to her than a piece of cloth used to cover her hair; it is about modesty and a constant reminder of one’s beliefs.
“I feel worried for them, I am afraid for them,” she said, referring to Muslim women and girls in France. “When things like [this] pass, and when government officials make it clear that Muslims are the enemy of the people, you see an increase in hate crimes, âshe said.
Sara Jundi, a Syrian third-year business student at UC’s Blue Ash campus, also speaks out on Islamophobia. Due to wearing the hijab, she found that people spoke to her differently or even looked at her differently. âThey are just expecting something different from you, like you’re not like the others,â Jundi said.
Jundi says the world seems so tolerant at times, but as soon as the wearing of the hijab is involved it seems to turn out to be another story. âIt surprises me how something so simple is so difficult for them to come to terms with,â she said.
While there are no exceptions to how the French Senate voted, according to Jundi she could see if that were to happen decades ago. That this would happen in today’s society is inconceivable to him.
Jundi believes that there is no justification for prohibiting what women can wear or what anyone, in general, can do based on their religion or beliefs. âAt the end of the day, it doesn’t affect anyone else,â she said.