A French lawyer has attacked the European Union over a poster that featured a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.
Thibault de Montbrial, an adviser to France’s centre-right presidential candidate (shocker!), took to Twitter to share his opinion on the poster, in what has been described as an “unnecessary outburst.”
Describing himself as “speechless” upon seeing it, Montbrial said: “The choice of a veiled woman to illustrate a conference ‘on the future of Europe’ leaves you speechless. The Muslim Brotherhood dared not dream of it, the useful idiots did. For my part, I will fight with all my might to avoid such a future for #Europe. #Islamism.” (Translated from French to English via Google Translate.)
Mehreen Khan, an EU correspondent for the Financial Times, later quote tweeted the post and replied: “The EU is once again being accused of being a clandestine Islamist plot puppeteered by the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ because there is a Muslim women on a poster for the Conference on the Future of Europe.”
She continued: “For all those who lamented the racism of parts of the Brexit Leave campaign, in 2022 apparently serious media from the EU’s biggest country hold up Brussels as a rotten Islamist conspiracy because there are brown women in some EU stock photos archive.”
Khan is correct. A stock image of a Muslim woman has got you so angry that you have to tweet about it? Why are men like Thibault de Montbrial so afraid of Muslim women? What is it about them that unnerves them? Their strength in the face of adversity? Their modesty? Their eyes? What could it possibly be?
And these questions also stretch to wider society. Why are non-Muslim men so afraid of the hijab and what it represents, so much so, that they have to go out of their way to abuse it?
This news comes after France was thrust into the spotlight for their anti-hijab laws.
The French government recently passed yet another hijab ban that will affect Muslim women. Last month, officials voted in favour of banning women from wearing the hijab while competing in sporting competitions.
The controversial decision was approved after senators voted 160 to 143 in the upper house of parliament. Members of the Les Republicains party amended the proposed legislation, which initially stated the removal of “religious symbols” to explicitly banning “the wearing of the veil.”
“Today, there is legal uncertainty about the wearing of religious symbols, and it is necessary for the state to clearly define the rules,” the amendment said. “If the wearing of the veil is not explicitly forbidden, we could see the emergence of community sports clubs promoting certain religious signs.”
The French Football Federation has already banned women from wearing hijabs during official matches, including all other competitions organised by them. Les Hijabeuses, a group of activists that oppose the rules of the federation, have said that Muslim women have a right to enjoy the sport without compromising on crucial aspects of their faith.
Over the past few years, France has been slammed for continuously targeting the Muslim community. In 2011, they banned full-face veils (also known as niqabs) before doubling down recently with increased inspections of mosques, schools and sports clubs, in a bid to “tackle extremism.”
Last year, they also passed the “Separatism Bill”, which effectively prohibits girls under the age of 18 from wearing the hijab in public spaces such as parks and schools. The controversial decision sparked the “Hands off my Hijab” movement on social media.