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French Lawmakers Vote on Islamophobic Legislation: Hijab Banned in Sporting Events
By Staff, Agencies
The French Senate has voted in favor of banning hijabs in sports competition in the latest round of French Islamophobia and religious discrimination, arguing that "neutrality is a requirement" on the field.
The French upper legislative house voted late Tuesday to amend a proposed law prohibiting the wearing of "conspicuous religious symbols" to take part in events and competitions organized by sports federations.
The amendment aims at banning "the wearing of the veil in sports competitions," the text clearly stated, also arguing that the hijab could "put at risk" the safety of athletes wearing it.
The amendment was proposed by the right-wing Les Republicains party, and it was adopted in the senate with 160 votes in favor and 143 against.
A commission comprising of Senate members and lower house lawmakers should now gather to find a compromise on the amendment ahead of publishing, which could potentially lead to its erasing.
It is unclear if the ban would be implemented for the 2024 Paris Olympics, but if it is, then a wave of boycotts could be expected, as Muslims took a fair share of medals in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
In the amendment banning the display of religious symbolism, the senators said all citizens were free to exercise their religion.
"Today, there is legal uncertainty about the wearing of religious symbols, and it is necessary for the state to clearly define the rules," the amendment reads.
"If the wearing of the veil is not explicitly forbidden, we could see the emergence of community sports clubs promoting certain religious signs," the text added.
The French soccer federation had already made up ground when it comes to Islamophobia, as it prohibits women from wearing headscarves in official matches and competitions it organizes.
The decision resulted in protests and criticism due to representing a clear violation of religious freedom.
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