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French President Rules Out Hijab Ban

French President Rules Out Hijab Ban

PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron has ruled out a ban on the Islamic hijab in public, admitting that the Muslim women outfit should be tolerated in the country.

“I am not especially happy that some [Muslim] women choose to wear the headscarf when out in public, but it must be tolerated,” Macron was quoted by The Express.

In an interview on French TV, Macron said that, while he was personally not in favor of hijab, “I respect veiled women, but I want to make sure that they are wearing veils and headscarves out of personal choice,” Macron continued.

France was the first European country to ban the hijab in state-run schools in 2004.

They later banned burqa, or full face-veil in public in 2011. Anyone caught wearing the burqa or niqab is fined €150.

“We are committed to equality between men and women. But we must do more to explain this need for gender equality and convince people of its importance. However, banning the Muslim headscarf in public places would be counter-productive,” The Express quotes his interview.

“The French state is secular but French society is not, and Muslim women should be allowed to wear what they want.”

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not just a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

In 2017, the European Union’s top court ruled that employers are allowed to ban the “visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign,” including the hijab.

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