France wants to ban the hijab and Twitter is rightfully outraged

Published 05 Apr, 2021 04:02pm

Images Staff

Users said the ban was inciting Islamophobia and adding to a larger problem of policing women's bodies.

In the past year or two, France has doubled down on anti-Muslim policies and the latest is a ban on Muslim women below the age of 18 wearing the hijab.

The government seems to see the hijab as a threat to all the things the Republic stands for.

Believing this to be oppressive, restrictive and misogynistic, many have taken to Twitter to express their outrage.

This isn't the first time France has tried to police Muslim women's clothes. It previously banned full-body swimwear and niqabs. It also banned the slaughter of poultry for religious sacrifice but is okay with the poultry industry in general. All these things have led to people calling out Islamophobia in the country.

Many Muslim women felt they were at the receiving end of racism and hate.

Some users pointed out how the ban was not just inciting Islamophobia, but added to a larger problem of bodily autonomy and governing women's bodies to declare what they can or cannot wear.

It added to systematic oppression where patriarchy and internalised misogyny made it okay for anyone other than a woman herself to determine what she would be comfortable in, and thus should, be wearing or not wearing — when the choice should have been hers alone.

Women pointed out that despite the fact that the hijab was an obligatory part of their religion, it was also a choice that Muslim women made before hitting puberty. They reiterated that the practice was neither forced nor part of a culture to oppress their rights.

They added that the bill was not only oppressive but also restrictive in choice for young girls who would opt to dress modestly and wanted to wear the hijab as a service to their religion and devotion to God. They felt violated.

Many also collectively protested how peacefully practicing or representing their religion through any garment does not in any way harm anyone else.

Not discrediting the experiences of those who were forced to wear the hijab when they weren't ready to, Muslim women said the personal experiences of some was not the benchmark by which to judge an entire religion, nor does it speak for all women and represent their feelings.

Regardless of the bill becoming a law or not, one thing was pretty clear — France has an Islamophobia problem.

France's national motto is "liberté, égalité, fraternité", French for "liberty, equality, fraternity", but it doesn't want to give Muslim women the liberty to dress as they please. By banning the hijab, or any other items of clothing, the French aren't being liberal, they're being sexist and not letting women wear what they want.