Apr 18th, 2021, 07:20 PM

The Hijab Ban in France

By Lorenza Aranda
Image credit: Unsplash/Sami D
A controversial legislation proposal sparks social media outrage.

The French senate made a move on March 30 to ban girls under 18 from wearing the hijab in public. This has drawn a lot of attention on social media and all over the world. Many have condemned this action on social media with the hashtag #HandsOffMyHijab.

For those who don't know, the hijab is a headscarf worn by many Muslim women. It has been the subject of a decades-long feud in France, a country that is especially known for its xenophobia and racism targeted towards Muslims. 

The French senate took this decision as part of the "anti-separatism law" they so want to introduce. This bill is supposed to bolster France's secular system. However, people that oppose this bill argue that it specifically singles out the Muslim population.

On March 30, senators approved an amendment to the bill that called for, "prohibition in the public space of any conspicuous religious sign by minors and of any dress or clothing which would signify of women over men". 

However, the ban is not yet a law, it has not gone through the Assemblée Nationale. For it to be law, it would require them to sign off on the change. 

The Assemblée Nationale's lower chamber is led by President Macron's party, La République en Marche (LREM). They voted in favor of the bill on February 16 before it was passed to the senate, which is mainly led by conservatives. 

Still, the single fact of proposing this in this day and age caused outrage all over. People see this as a "law against Islam" and many say that it is a violation of human rights

The outrage also came from many high-profile figures and celebrities. 


Najwa Zebian, another personality took to Twitter to say, "I thought we already had this covered. Forcing a woman to wear a hijab is wrong. Just like forcing her to take it off is wrong. It's HER choice".

Some celebrities even took it to Instagram and expressed their thoughts. U.S. Olympian and medalist, Ibtihaj Muhammad was one of them.


Amani al-Khatahtbeh, the founder of Muslim Women’s Day and the website Muslim Girl, also had something to say. 

This legislation has been widely debated by many in France since it has been a victim of terrorist attacks in the last few years. The government has a reason to believe that banning the hijab and being strict with the Muslim community will be good and make them feel safe. Many do not agree. The law does not mention the word Islam specifically, but many know that it is part of the decision-making. Muslims in France say that legislation such as these, single them out. 

Model and personality Rawdah expressed her feeling in a lengthy Instagram post. 


We have yet to see the outcome of the National Assembly's vote, but after all the outrage, many believe that making this a law will be nearly impossible. There is not a specific date on when this vote is going to be made, but as the unrest and backlash on social media grow, the vote is looking less likely.