Strasbourg, France

Tuesday 13 April 2021,

We, a group of French Muslim women, launched the #PasToucheAMonHijab (Hands Off My Hijab) campaign, in response to the French Senate passing a bill that targets the freedom of choice and basic rights of Muslim girls and women in France.

As French women we are exhausted from being excluded from discussions and decisions restricting our rights and freedoms. By raising awareness and building solidarity, with allies regardless of one’s gender, beliefs, origin or opinion on the hijab, #PasToucheAMonHijab puts an end once and for all to the policing of women’s bodies, choices, and beliefs, and protects our rights and freedoms.

On the 12th of April, the French Senate passed the bill “strengthening the principles of the Republic”, formerly called the bill against separatism. This bill includes oppressive, sexist, and Islamophobic amendments, such as the banning of the wearing of the hijab for mothers chaperoning school trips, the banning of the hijab in the public space for girls under 18, the banning of the burkini for women and girls in swimming places and beaches, the banning of the wearing of the hijab in sports competitions. This bill falls within a bigger picture, and constantly repeated narrative: the restriction and policing of the bodies, choices and beliefs of Muslim women in France. From discrimination within universities to access classrooms, sports facilities, to this institutionalisation of gendered Islamophobia – it’s enough.

The #PasToucheAMonHijab campaign calls for a direct end to these amendments, discriminations, and narrative. However, it is imperative to note that even in the case that these oppressive amendments will not be enacted, their mere existence and passing in the Senate are symptomatic of the toxic environment actively produced by the French state in which Muslims feel they have no air to breathe and exist anymore.

Although the movement belongs and is affiliated to none, all individuals, groups, personalities, organisations and parties are invited to join and support. Because this is the cause of all. The cause for our rights and freedoms.

We will continue to stand for our freedom of choice and basic human rights, so #PasToucheAMonHijab.


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