Vincent de Coorebyter, director of Belgium’s Centre for Socio-Political Research. – “The veil is seen as a sign of discrimination,”
Protest French Hijab Ban. Innovative Minds. Retrieved June 3rd, 2008 – “The French President Jacques Chirac has asked the French Parliament to pass a law banning the hijab in France. Hijab is an integral part of Islam, it is derived from Quranic injunctions and its practice is not symbolic or a fashion or cultural statement but rather it is a manifestation of being a Muslim and following the deen of Islam. An attack on hijab is clearly an attack on Islam. To criminalize hijab is to criminalize Islam. This is the intension of this law – to outlaw the practice of Islam.
[…] Islamophobia in France
Islamophobia is rife in France with polls suggesting that over two thirds of French citizens want a law to ban hijab. Already, even before the law has been approved by the assembly, many if not most state schools are unilaterally banning hijab.
The French census does not sort residents by ethnicity or religion, but the estimated number of French Muslims is as high as seven million, or 11 percent of the population. And yet Muslims are excluded from all positions of authority and decision making, there is not a single Muslim in the 577-member French National Assembly, and there are no Muslims among France’s 36,000 mayors. Muslims face the worst discrimination in society, they have the worst housing, and the highest level of unemployment.
French politicians disguise their islamophobia by claiming the states secular ideals must be defended and cannot survive any religious sentiments. They say they are not discriminating against Muslims in particular but against all religions, for the protection of their secular ideals. And yet this same secular state observes all the Christian holidays but refuses to recognise Muslim or Jewish ones. Whilst private Christian schools receive subsidies from the government there is not a single state funded Muslim school. We call that hypocrisy.
The first Muslim school permitted in France, Lycée Averroés, opened its doors in September 2003. It took eight years struggle for it to open with authorities turned down the first three applications to open the secondary school. Its running costs are met by private donors, the state will not fund it for at least the next five years.
So great is the demand for persecution-free education among Muslims that they have been flocking to Catholic schools, which have not (as yet) drawn a distinction between a Catholic nuns habit and the Muslim hijab – permitting both on its premises. In Muslim areas Catholic schools now have up to 70% Muslim pupil populations.
Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity – apparently are not to be applied to French Muslims, and in particular Muslim women who have bore the brunt of French islamophobia”