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Thursday, May 23, 2024

France-style anti-Islamism

Pak Sahafat – France, with the largest Muslim population among European countries, has seen discrimination and religious restrictions for Muslims over the decades, and especially in recent years, and in the latest measure, it has banned the wearing of the Hijab (clothing for Muslim women in Arab countries) in schools.

According to Pak Sahafat News Agency, the news was short but controversial; the 30-year-old minister of the French government, who has recently assumed the seat of the Ministry of National Education and Youth, spoke about the implementation of the plan to ban the wearing of Islamic Hijab in schools, emphasizing the observance of the laws of secularism.

Gabriel Attal, who was holding his first press conference in this position, justified the ban by calling for “unity” against what he called the recent attacks on secularism and said: “Unity must be clear, uniforms in French schools.”

Attal has promised to train 300,000 employees annually by 2025 and all 14,000 management employees by the end of this year in the field of secularism.

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Saying that “our school has been tested”, he described the wearing of religious clothes in schools as an attack on secularism and claimed that in recent months, such attacks on secularism, especially the wearing of aba and qamees (long clothes traditionally worn by men in Arab countries), have increased significantly.

Some French media have also justified the position of the new French Minister of National Education and Youth as a response to school principals who demanded clear guidelines on the controversial issue of covering students.

Anti-Islamism in France; from the past to the present

In explaining the process of this decision, the media announced that the new position of the French government in the field of covering students took place after months of debate between different factions of the country, and during these consultations, the right and extreme right factions pressed for this ban, but the leftists believed that this ban violates civil liberties.

Read more:

France banned the wearing of Islamic Hijab for girls in schools

Of course, a look at the past indicates a longer history of such restrictions on French Muslims, and the Muslims of this country, as the largest Islamic community in Europe, faced strict rules regarding the Islamic hijab since the early 2000s.

For example, according to the law passed by the French parliament in March 2004, women were prohibited from wearing the Islamic hijab in public schools. This law, contrary to individual freedoms at the time, drew criticism from the United Nations Human Rights Council, which called it “causing hostility and enmity towards the hijab issue and the lack of religious tolerance towards veiled women outside of schools, universities or workplaces.”

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In continuation of these policies, which analysts believe are aimed at Islamophobia, in 2006, Jacques Chirac, the president of France at the time, passed a law that prohibited the use of any specific religious symbols in public schools. These signs included the cross, Islamic hijab and special hats.

However, in 2010, restrictions on Muslims in France increased and a ban on wearing the headscarf in public places was passed.

The French President Emmanuel Macron’s administrations have always witnessed the head of state’s verbal and behavioral contradictions when dealing with the issue of Islam. From Macron’s unequivocal support for the desecration of the Prophet (PBUH) in Charlie Hebdo’s offensive magazine, to the bill that was approved in 2019, according to which mothers wearing hijab were prohibited from accompanying their children in some outside school activities.

According to the aforementioned law, mothers of students in French public schools can only accompany their children in extracurricular activities outside of educational institutions if they do not wear any religious signs, including wearing a hijab.

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Melanchon called the ban on the abaya a “religious war”.

But unlike the far-right parties, Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the French Radical Left Party has strongly reacted to Gabriel Ethel’s words, calling it a “religious war” and deploring it.

He published a message on X social network (former Twitter) and wrote: It is a pity that the beginning of the school year has become “politically due to a new absurd religious war” and “bipolarized”.

How far will the costume police go?

Mathilde Panot of the Invincible France party angrily mocked the Minister of National Education and Youth’s obsession: “Muslims. Especially Muslims.”

Clémentine Autain, the vice-president of this party, also angrily evaluated this decision of the Macron government as illegal, contrary to the fundamental principles of secularism and a sign of obsessive rejection of Muslims, and emphasized: “How far will the uniform police go?”

It should be remembered that this French politician announced last June that wearing a robe has nothing to do with religion and that the problem of French fashion is not this dress, but rather the lack of teachers and inadequate reception.

The controversial ban on the use of the hijab has sparked many arguments between supporters and opponents of this law in France. Supporters of this law claim that this ban warns the country against extremism, and its opponents say that the purpose behind this law is to spread the feeling of Islamophobia and create hostility against French Muslims.

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