France’s Decision to Ban Hijab at Sports Events Faces Backlash among Muslims, Media Users
Story Code : 974842
French lawmakers in the upper legislative house voted late on Tuesday in favor of amending a proposed law stipulating that the wearing “of conspicuous religious symbols is prohibited” in events and competitions organized by sports federations in France.
Particularly targeting the Muslim headscarves and veils, the amendment claimed that the hijab — a headdress worn by Muslim women — can put the safety of athletes wearing it at risk.
The amendment — proposed by the right-wing group Les Republicains — instantly sparked a popular backlash, with critics taking to social media to lambaste the French government and cast doubt on France’s commitment to its self-proclamation as the “land of liberty.”
Commenting on the decision, TV presenter Samia Mohsin described the ban as an act of “exclusion and discrimination,” stressing, “Islamophobia is not the answer!” to France’s crisis of identity.
“Liberté? Or exclusion & discrimination? Senators in #France voted in favour of #HijabBan in #sports,” Mohsin wrote in a tweet. “The amendment was proposed by right-wing Les Republicains & opposed by the French government. #Islamophobia is not the answer.”
Another Twitter user slammed France for its decision to pick on Muslims and Islamic symbols while ignoring more critical challenges facing the European country.
“Of all urgencies facing France, the Senate has decided to ban the Muslim hijab in sports. It will be on the majority of the French to decide what matters, food on the table a future for their kids, or constant islamodiversion and a sense of superiority towards their Muslim neighbors,” the tweet reads.
Another commenter suggested that a decision like the banning of the hijab will make the situation “worse” for Muslim women in France.
“France already banned the niqab & prohibits mothers wearing hijab from accompanying their children on school trips. France knows they can get away w/ this without any repercussions,” she wrote.
The amendment was adopted with 160 votes in favor and 143 against. A commission composed of members from the Senate and the lower house is supposed to gather to find a compromise on the text before it is published.
It is unclear whether the ban would be implemented for the 2024 Paris Olympics.