Less than a month after voters in Switzerland supported a ban on burqa and the niqab, the French Senate on March 30th voted to ban the hijab (the headscarf that Muslim women wear) in public places for anyone under 18 years old.
“Prohibition in the public space of any conspicuous religious sign by minors and of any dress or clothing which would signify an interiorization of women over men.”
Furthermore, Muslim mother’s wearing the hijab will be prohibited from accompanying their children on school trips and prohibits people from wearing burkinis, a woman’s swimsuit that covers the entire body, in public pools.
This provision is a part of the proposed ‘separatism bill’ which has not come into effect yet.
However, the ban has only been approved by the French Senate and is yet to be fully passed into law.
French President Emmanuel Macron has previously said that the hijab is not in line with French ideology, but also said that he “does not want to make a law that prohibits it on the streets.” Veils have already been banned in French public schools since 2004.
This astounding news is being shared on social media by Muslims across the world with Muslim women using the tag #handsoffmyhijab across various platforms in protest.
Amani al Khatahtbeh, founder and activist of Muslim Women’s Day also took to social media and wrote, “No government should regulate how a woman can dress, whether to keep it on or take it off”.
“I don’t understand how, in 2021, in a developed country, we are still talking about how a woman should dress,” French-Moroccan fashion influencer Hanan Houachmi, who lives in Dubai, said to a publication.
“I wanted to set an example for my child and wanted her to always remember me wearing hijab,” she added.
27-year-old Somali influencer Rawdah Mohamed shared her own experiences of facing hate and racism in her recent Instagram post.
“I want to take this opportunity to share the real people that will be effected by this ban and the impact it will have on Muslim Women. I refuse to let this pass down without speaking up, it is the very least we can do for ourselves and each other. We are not alone. Please share your stories,” writes the Norway-Based content creator.
“I strongly believe the only antidote of hate crime is activism. Many governments have been on the wrong side of liberation and equality before. It is our duty as the people stand up and fight for each other’s rights. 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.” She added.