News Flash

France ban on Hijabs for under 18s highly criticized as “law against Islam”

TBL web desk

A bid by the French senate to ban wearing hijab (a headscarf) in public by girls under 18 years of age has been highly criticized on social media by using hashtag #HandsOffMyHijab.

The bill is a part of the “anti-separatism bill”, which it says aims to strengthen secularism in the country. The critics on the other hand have criticized it by saying that it will differentiate the minority Muslim population.

On March 30, the amendment to the bill advocating “prohibition in the public space of any conspicuous religious sign by minors and of any dress or clothing which would signify inferiority of women over men” was approved by the senate.

The bill is not yet law as it has not been signed by France’s National Assembly. But the amendment to the bill has been highly criticized by calling it a “law against Islam”.

The issue has even been noticed by renowned people.

Olympic athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad shared a post and raised his voice against this law. He shared “Islamophobia is deepening in France”. The post further says, “This is what happens when you normalize anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim hate speech, bias, discrimination, and hate crimes – Islamophobia written into law.”

The founder of Muslim’s Women Day and the website Muslim Girl, Amani al-Khatahtbeh, also raised her voice on Twitter and condemned the decision of the senate. She wrote on Twitter, “No government should regulate how a woman can dress, whether to keep it on or take it off.”

Rawdah Mohammed, a Somali-born model criticized the move of the Senate to ban hijab on her Instagram account. She shared her photo in hijab and wrote, “The Hijab ban is hateful rhetoric coming from the highest level of government and will go down as an enormous failure of religious values and equality.”

After last year’s attacks including the murder of teacher Samuel Paty, the legislation has been discussed and debated in France. On 16 February, the bill was passed in The National Assembly, France’s lower chamber, and was passed to the conservative-led senate.

However, the word “Islam” is not particularly mentioned in the law but the French Muslims have been protesting for months against it.

Last month, Amnesty International also said that the law posed a “serious attack on rights and freedoms in France” and called for “many problematic provisions” of the bill that need to be amended or removed.

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