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France’s Favourite Debate And Decades-long Feud Over The Hijab Takes Centre Stage

By Bombay Talkies 24 / 09 / 2020 | 03:04 PM
Wearing the hijab is banned in French schools and for public servants at their workplace.

International News Bureau

Paris 24/9/2020

France’s decades-long feud over the hijab is couched in terms of the country’s tradition of laicite, a strict form of secularism which, among other things, bans people from wearing religious symbols in public schools.


Last week, a member of French President Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique en Marche (LREM) party walked out of a National Assembly hearing, saying the presence of a veiled student went against the country’s secular values – a stunt which has renewed a debate over the hijab.

“As a Member of Parliament and a feminist, committed to Republican values, to laicite and women’s rights, I cannot accept someone who enters a National Assembly hearing wearing a hijab, which for me remains a mark of submission,” Anne-Christine Lang wrote on Twitter shortly after leaving the hearing mid-session.

The student, 21-year-old Maryam Pougetoux, was representing a student’s union during a discussion on how to minimise the effects of the COVID-19 health crisis on young people. Pougetoux is no stranger to attacks for wearing the hijab. In 2018, she received similar criticism for wearing the headscarf during a television interview. 


Wearing the hijab is banned in French schools and for public servants at their workplace.

France’s Muslim community, about 5 million people, comprises about 10 percent of the population, the largest Muslim minority in Europe.

Following a similar controversy last year, which involved a far-right politician asking a woman to remove her hijab, French President Emmanuel Macron decried what he called the “stigmatisation” of Muslims, warning against linking Islam with “terrorism”.


France News

By Bombay Talkies

International News Bureau

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