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Women in France seek to end ‘humiliation’ against hijab in sport

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French attempts to ban women from wearing the hijab in sport are sparking outcry and thousands are campaigning to stop the decision becoming law.

A petition by French activists to end a controversial law banning Muslim women from wearing the veil while playing sports has garnered thousands of signatures.

“I’m passionate about football,” Foune, 22, from the Paris suburbs, said in a petition she started.

“I have been fighting for more than a year to allow all women, including those who wear the veil, to practice their favorite sport in official competitions,” she added, fearing that current legislation could institutionalizes anti-Muslim discrimination.

Widely circulated on social networks, the petition adds that thousands of women in France who have made the “intimate choice to wear the veil” feel “excluded”.

“Being kicked out of a soccer field was personally one of the biggest humiliations of my life,” said Fortune, who campaigns using the hashtag “Les Hijabeuses,” launched by a social justice group called Citizen Alliance. .

Many Muslim women face barriers in work and school environments where they may be forced to remove their hijab due to the country’s anti-Muslim legislation.

“This is the case of thousands of women today in France, who juggle between abandonment, loss of self-confidence, fear and apprehension”, indicates the petition.

Like most national sports federations in the country, the French Football Federation bans the wearing of the veil, according to the petition, “using arguments such as a supposed neutrality in sport or even by invoking principles of hygiene and security”.

The French Parliament is now seeking to turn this informal ban into law.

Last month, the Senate voted to ban visible religious symbols in sports, a move primarily aimed at the country’s Muslim women – some of whom can play sports with a headscarf.

According to right-wing politicians who voted for the decision, the decision targeting the country’s Muslim women was made in the interests of so-called religious neutrality.

The latest decision by the French Senate follows a series of restrictions in recent years that have systematically cracked down on Muslims.

Activists have vowed that even if the latest legislation eventually becomes law, they will continue to play football.

“Even if the intolerant don’t want us, we will play!” said one social media user.

Following the French Senate decision on hijabs, another social media user added that “millions of Muslims are being asked to choose between their sport and their religion. So many people are working so hard to make sport inclusive for all as this madness continues…in 2022.”

“Sport must be free from overt racism and misogyny. This law highlights the cruelty and exclusion that Muslim women face on a daily basis in French society,” said another social media user in support of the campaign.

This is not the first time that France has sought to suppress the activities of Muslim women.

Last year, the French parliament decided to ban Muslim women from attending their children’s school trips while wearing the hijab, a symbol it sees as a threat to everything the Republic stands for.

Macron’s laser focus on the country’s Muslim minority of 5.4 million, even as France continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, has also had the unintended impact of amplifying French insecurities about its place in the world. world and their sense of identity.

These cross-cutting issues have only intensified with presidential elections just months away and parties on the left and right of the political spectrum are vying to appear tough on Muslim practices.

Source: World TRT