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The French Senate has voted to ban Muslim girls under the age of 18 from wearing a hijab.
The vote which took place on Tuesday, March 30, also looks to ban women accompanying a school trip from wearing a hijab and prohibits people from wearing burkinis, a woman’s swimsuit that covers the entire body, in public pools.
French senators who voted in favour of these rules believe the so-called anti-separation bill will prohibit ‘conspicuous religious sign by minors and of any dress or clothing which would signify an inferiorisation of women over men’ being worn in public spaces.
The vote does not mean this has come into law, however. The bill must be confirmed by the National Assembly for this to happen, 5 Pillars UK reports.
Right-wing senator, Bruno Retailleau, described the hijab and burkini as ‘sexist’, a ‘marker of the submission of women’, and the banner of separatism.’
He further said:
Each time we have proposed to toughen this text, especially vis-à-vis the veil and ostentatious signs, the government has backed down.
Stop telling us that the veil is only a piece of cloth while it characterises the claim of the Islamist ideologists to impose on us a counter-society, separate from the national community… The situation is extremely serious.
Amnesty International Europe has since condemned the bill and said that it attacks French people’s rights and freedoms, Muslims in particular.
The organisation’s researcher Marco Perolini said in a statement, ‘Time and again we have seen the French authorities use the vague and ill-defined concept of ‘radicalisation’ or ‘radical Islam’ to justify the imposition of measures without valid grounds, which risks leading to discrimination in its application against Muslims and other minority groups.’
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is looking to ban the burqa after the country’s minister for public security described it as ‘a sign of religious extremism’.
Switzerland banned burqas being worn in public places in March after a referendum passed with a 51% majority.
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5 Pillars UK
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