Hands off my hijab! Young Muslim women protest proposed French ban

Sixteen year-old Mariem Chourak is a religious Muslim who considers carrying a hijab an expression of her devotion to the Prophet Mohammad, however a proposal by French senators would possibly quickly deny her the liberty to take action in public areas.

The modification to an ‘anti-separatism’ invoice designed to strengthen France’s secular values and which applies to women below 18 has drawn outrage and prompted an internet protest below the hashtag #HandsOffMyHijab (#PasToucheAMonHijab) that went viral past French borders.

“It is a part of my id. To power me to take away it might be a humiliation,” Chourak mentioned. “I can not perceive why they’d need to cross a regulation that discriminates.”

The place of faith and spiritual symbols worn in public is a long-running matter of controversy in France, a staunchly secular nation and residential to Europe’s largest Muslim minority.

France prohibited the carrying of Islamic headscarves in state faculties in 2004. In 2010, it banned the niqab, the full-face Islamic veil, in public locations corresponding to streets, parks, public transport, and administrative buildings.

The modification pertains to all non secular symbols, although opponents say it targets Muslims. Senator Christian Bilhac informed lawmakers in April it might shield kids.

“Mother and father shouldn’t impose dogma on their kids,” he informed the higher home.

A gaggle of younger girls is operating the #PasToucheAMonHijab marketing campaign from the residing rooms of their households’ flats.

They’ve drawn help from social media influencers, a U.S. lawmaker and Ibtihaj Muhammad, the primary American girl to put on a hijab whereas competing within the Olympics, amongst others.

“(The politicians) need our emancipation, they need to save us from this imaginary oppression, however it’s they who’re oppressing us,” mentioned medical scholar Mona el Mashouly, 25, in her house metropolis of Strasbourg.

President Emmanuel Macron warns that Islamism is undermining the unity of the Republic.

His authorities’s anti-separatism invoice cracks down on pressured marriages and virginity checks, and contains stricter surveillance of non secular associations. It initially made no point out of stopping minors from carrying the hijab in public.

The conservative-dominated Senate added the modification, in addition to two extra that will stop moms from carrying a hijab when accompanying kids on faculty journeys and ban the full-body burkini swimsuit.

A joint committee from parliament’s two chambers will debate the amendments they usually could but be scratched from the invoice.

However for 22-year-old Hiba Latreche the harm is finished.

“(It’s) symptomatic of the fixed policing of girls’s our bodies, decisions and beliefs that we now have in France,” she mentioned, “in addition to the instrumentalization of Muslim girls.

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