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The Headscarf Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Saladin, Egypt Dec 4, 2003
Human Rights   Opinions


The Headscarf A considerable amount of the world’s population, Muslims and none-Muslims were concerned about the issue of banning the Islamic Hijab or veil in the French public schools last month. A French lady was speaking about that issue, on the behalf of the French ministry of education two days ago. She said that the French secular government has the right to educate its French students in a secular matter, which implies preventing those students from wearing anything that reflects on their “religious” background, or that represent a future source of “propaganda, family-imposition, fanaticism and terrorism”. (As she had said) She added that the restriction on the veil in the French public school is in the essence, a way to maintain the secular aspect of the French Republic, and that the ministry of education will not revert its decision because of a “minority of schoolgirls” who do not like this new regulation.

Well, first let’s stick to the last words the French spokeswoman said; about that “minority of schoolgirls” who have chosen to practice their religion, even if they were prevented from going to school. But, is-not going to school-a reasonable solution? Why aren’t the other “majority” of students who use items such as neck crosses and tattoos, and have a kaleidoscope of hairstyles referring to their “religious” backgrounds having an equal treatment? What is the problem if everybody practices his/her own religious beliefs while living in peace and harmony with his/her society? Are Muslim schoolgirls in Europe a negligible “minority”? Isn’t Islam the fastest growing religion of the world today, and in few years, this minority will become bigger and bigger? Do they have to be Catholics in order to be French? Has the French Government gone in breach of the three main principles of the French Revolution: Liberty, Equity, and Brotherhood? Does being secular mean to be “communist” and prevent people from worshipping in the way they believe? Does this mean that while sexual and homosexual exploitations, naturist organizations, prostitution, and pornography are all O.K. and legal, Muslim schoolgirls are prevented from covering their heads? Is it a governmental policy or what is it? Will the next step be the complete restriction of headscarves in all of the French Public sector organisms? Why does this law apply only in France, and not in Germany, the UK, or the USA? Are the latter regimes more or less secular, or are their lawmakers considering the veil as a personal liberty? Has the French lawmaker judged that every veiled girl is obliged to put the headscarf by her parents, and not because of her faith? Does limiting this restriction on the Islamic veil make sound of what a neighboring country-Spain-used to do -under similar excuses- in its 13th century inspection courts against Andalusia’s Muslims?

If the French Republic has accepted in many centuries to rule vast areas of the world, then it have at least, as a reconciliation-and instead to being annoyed by headscarves-, to respect the religious beliefs of people who ethnically belong to those ex-colonies, and who currently belong, however, to the French society. If the lawmaker in any country doesn’t know well about the composition of his/her society, its beliefs, customs, rituals, and begin to build consequences on his/her own prejudices, then some of the “minorities” will have to look for another country, where they can practice their daily life activities, side by side with their religious beliefs, that guide them, without having laws that prevent them from practicing their religion, in the most personal way.



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Writer Profile

My name is Ayman el-Hakea, I am a Construction Engineering graduate from the American University in Cairo. My origins date to an interesting mixture of Yemeni, Moroccan, Albanian, and Egyptian ancestors. I always try to be a moderate Muslim, I like animation, geopolitics, comparative religion, and football. I like to be with "people"...and I hope my writing isn't boring for anyone.

In Agreement
Tara Sachs | Feb 17th, 2004
I think that your article was a powerful and concise argument against the banning the wearing of the Hijab and other religous symbols. Great job. If only the French government could see your point.

The Headscarf
Olaitan | Mar 8th, 2004
This issue of headscarf in France is something that of religious bigamy. Why are some muslims maing this noise on headscarfs? Where were they when the scarf issue or the secularity issue was been tempered upon in France. Where were this people when the some muslims were killing jews in France and all round Europe? Where were they when the jews were been humiliated in schools and their homes all round Europe? I am sure they were happy when the jews were been 'wasted' in Germany. Let's call a spade a spade, was it only the headscarf that was banned in France? Why are the Catholics not complaining? Why are the Jews not complaining? Why did'nt the muslim community in Europe or France in particular condemn the killings and abuses metted to the Jews? Was it not that the French govt does not want to support one sect against the other that brougt about the bans? Must the whole world bow down and keep quiet whenever the muslims cough. And who said the muslims are growing faster than other religions? Come to Africa or Nigeria and see the mass movement to Christianity. I am not a fanatic so I don't support one religion against another, most of my best and trusted friends are Muslims and I prefer them to the Christians, so I don't hate anybody. Finally, let's allow a sleeping dog sleep in peace. If the French government thinks that is the best way to remain neutral at least avoid a religious war, let's give them a chance. Let us all live happily together in peacem not minding ou religious belief. At least, we are serving one God.

Well Done
Asma Zia | Mar 23rd, 2005
This is a very strong opinion. Good Job!

Ayman El Hakea | Jun 17th, 2005
"Noise"? Is this a proper term you give to a group of people demanding to practice their faith freely? My friend, no one has told you that this article has to do with either anti-semiticism in Europe, or the holocasut..... we are Muslim, we have to give priority to our nation...Jews won't care for Christians as they do for themselves.... every nation is responsible for demanding its rights.....that's why I see you don't have a good point. Moroever, you can't deny that the wave of "Islamophobia" became a persistent phenomenon in western Europe, especially these days. Finally, I didn't mean that Islam is the onlygrowing religion in this world, but believe me, what I read on a demographic map of the National Geographic Society is that Islam is the world fastest growing religion, because of the high birth rate in Muslim societies.... France claims to keep "Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood", that's what they say....they say also that they don't want students to "display" their "religious symbols". What I was trying to say, -and that you clearly missed- is that the headscarve is not an optional thing for Muslim female students to choose to hide or display, it's an obligation and a divine command,.....Islam is not just an individual hidden relationship between man and God, it's a system of life....that's what France- and you -should understand peace be upon you

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