By Basima Mirza, Vaughan, Ontario
For anyone who has been keeping up with the news, you might have heard about the ban
on hijab in France. It is a law making it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to wear a
hijab. Mothers who wear hijabs also can not accompany their children on school trips.
Their justification for this act is that the hijab is “oppressing women” which I think is
This isn’t about the rights of women; this in my view is pure Islamophobia. In fact, they are taking the rights of women away. They are prohibiting Muslim women from being
comfortable, practicing religion, or even giving them the option to choose for
themselves. The country is controlling what women can or cannot wear, and that doesn’t
seem like liberating women to me. What makes this even more outrageous is that the age
to wear a hijab is even higher than the age of consent in France!
Previously in 2004, France had also banned the wearing of a face veil (niqab). So when
will France stop continually targeting Muslim women. Along with hijab, France has also
banned other symbols of religion such as crosses (Christianity) and Skull caps(Judaism).
But as you can tell someone of Christian faith to take off their cross, you cannot tell a
Muslim woman to take off her headscarf for obvious reasons. While we are on the topic
of different religions, I am confused to why it is acceptable in society for nuns
(Christianity) to be modest and cover their heads without question but when it comes to
Islam it’s suddenly unacceptable?
Now imagine something like this happening all over Canada, what would we as Muslims
do? As a matter of fact it is happening in parts of Canada i.e. Quebec. It prevents
anyone from wearing any symbol of faith from working. Islam’s point of view on this is
that this is unacceptable. What bothers society so much about women covering
their heads and being modest? Specifically Muslim women – everyone should have the
freedom to express their religious beliefs (to an extent).
To sum up, this ban on hijab in France should be abolished. It is outrageous that a girl
under the age of 18 is forced to stop wearing hijab. It is a matter of dignity of a
Muslim girl when she wears a headscarf. We as Muslims should pray that this ban be
lifted as soon as possible because it is more than just a piece of clothing.