French Senate Votes in Favour of Hijab Ban in Sporting Competitions

On Tuesday, the French Senate voted in favour of banning women from wearing the hijab while competing in sporting competitions.

The controversial decision, which was actually opposed by Emmanuel Macaron’s government, 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.”

Not only did the right-wing party argue in favour of what they describe as “secularism”, they also added that the hijab is actually a potential health hazard in sporting competitions. Um, someone’s clearly never heard of a tube cap, but regardless, it seems as though other senators agreed with the decision, voting in favour of the ban earlier this week.

Thankfully, even though it’s been approved at this stage, there is still a chance that it can be dropped in the next, in sha Allah.

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.

Credit: Unsplash

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.”

Yeah, never heard that one before. How original.