MariemChourak, 16, is a devout Muslim who believes that wearing a hijab shows her devotion to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). However, a French senator’s initiative could soon refuse her the right to do so in public spaces.
The addition of a bill against separatism aimed at bolstering France’s secular principles. It /applies to females under the age of 18 and has +sparked outrage. Additionally, it sparked an online protest with the hashtag #HandsOffMyHijab (#PasToucheAMonHijab), which quickly gained traction beyond French borders.
“It is an integral part of my personality. Forcing me to delete it would be an embarrassment,” Chourak said. “I don’t understand why they’d want to pass a discriminatory law.”
In France, faith and religious symbols are worn in public have long been a source of contention. Yet, it is an avowedly secular nation that is home to the largest Muslim community in Europe.
In 2004, France banned the wearing of Islamic headscarves in public schools. In 2010, it prohibited wearing the niqab, an Islamic full-face veil, in public places. In addition, Muslim women were not permitted to cover their faces in public spaces, parks, public transportation, or administrative buildings.
The amendment applies to all religious symbols, though critics claim it is directed at Muslims. Senator Christian Bilhac assured lawmakers in April that it would safeguard children.
“Parents should refrain from imposing dogma on their children,” he told the House of Representatives.
A group of young women is running the #PasToucheAMonHijab initiative from the living rooms of their families’ apartments.
They also attracted the attention of social media influencers. As a result, Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first American woman to compete in the Olympics while wearing a hijab.