Ibtihaj Muhammad: First Female Muslim Medalist Steps up Against France’s Hijab Ban in Sports Events
The controversial and outrageous vote banning girls under 18 from wearing the hijab continues to spark outrage globally. To make matters even worse, the French Senate proposes a more detailed rule: to ban women from wearing hijab at sports competitions. This rule can be applied in lots of aspects. If it starts with an age limit for control over a woman’s body, and extends to specific events regardless of age as well, then when does it stop? U.S. Olympian, Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim female medalist, and New York Times bestselling author, shares her comments on this ordeal.
Ibtihaj Muhammad on the vote
She makes a strong point regarding this vote, as it further oppresses her religious freedom. France in that sense, strips her of her identity. Instead of receiving support from French Muslims in the future throughout her competitions, the government will now control who she is, and how she’s perceived.
Ibtihaj asks for the free will to choose what to wear, for her and all other women, regardless of their faith, as this discrimination is deemed unacceptable. She and other women continue to fight through social media to dismantle this misogynistic move. Not only does this interfere with the rights of every Muslim woman in France, but also violates women worldwide.
If France is to move forward with this, can other governments potentially follow suit in implementing similar rules in the future? Controlling women, and punishing them for what they wear? Some have considered this as a step back for the ‘progressive’ European nation. The ban further isolates Muslims all over the world, and has been deemed as yet another form of Islamophobia, whilst also aggravating women’s plights in their freedom of expression.