French senate votes to ban the hijab for under 18 girls but sets the legal age of consent to 15.
France has been known as a country prejudiced against Muslims in every way, in every sphere of life, professionally or in the community. This isn’t news. It’s the norm. It’s actually really weird when you consider the fact that there aren’t just a handful of Muslims seldom found on the streets. Rather, five per cent of the total population is Muslim.
France continues to amaze us with yet another anti-Islamic law; the hijab ban for minors. There have also been rumours that France’s proposed Hijab ban will soon extend to national sports competitions. It’s kind of hard to comprehend why a piece of clothing can trigger so much politics. The justification that “Women are forced to use it” is completely WRONG.
It is pretty clear that to force a woman to wear a hijab is just as wrong as to force her to take it off. It’s all a woman’s choice. No one, not even a parent is allowed to force it on their daughter. Similarly, no one, not even her parents, are forced to make her take it off. So why does the law think it has a right to meddle in such a personal choice of what a person wants to wear?
It’s understandable that some girls are forced to wear the hijab. Assuming but not conceding that the hijab ban is to protect these girls, how is it that France bans the hijab for under-18 girls and in the same course of events, lowers the age of consent to 15? The audacity to think women can handle being 15 and have the right to consent to anything but can’t be under-18 and have the right to wear the hijab.
What exactly is a headscarf going to do to anyone? What unity and secularism is it harming? Do we ever see a Muslim complaining of bare minimal clothes? We have the right to wear fewer clothes but when we wear more it becomes a crime instead of modesty?
What about the nuns? Don’t they have similar attire? Even the nuns are opposed to this. So what would they do next? Target the nuns?
Humans, of any religion, should have equality and basic human rights. We hear liberals talking about how every girl should be allowed to wear whatever she wants, should be able to walk through the streets barely covered and not a single person should dare to catcall and talk about her. We hear about how women should be open to displaying skin. Amidst all these so-called new revolution and modernism, the hypocrisy that the world and most specifically France has against modesty is surreal.
We’ve all heard and seen how Muslim women have been forced to take off the hijab. Pulling the hijab off a woman’s head can under no circumstances be justified. Not in any religion. Not in any humane culture.
Muslims from all around the globe have started speaking out, rightly so. This Islamophobia needs to become history. It’s ironic how Muslims are called out for terrorism while being the most endangered community! No government has the right to dictate a woman or a man’s clothing. The hypocrisy of France’s proposed Hijab ban needs to end. We all need to grow up, look inwards, focus on our own lives and deeds instead of judging anyone based on their appearance.
Mayra Ansar is a medical student from Pakistan. She is passionate about writing, travelling and reading about spirituality, feminisn and self-improvement.