Sports star Ibtihaj Muhammad calls out french Hijab ban

U.S. fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad at the Olympic media summit on March 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Following the hijab ban proposed On March 30th, which stops women under the age of 18 from publicly wearing any sort of religious clothing that is only worn by women, American fencing star Ibtihaj Mohammed joined the Muslim bloc to call out discriminating policies of the French government.

The Senate proposed the hijab ban to include national sports competitions. Thus no longer permitting female athletes to wear the hijab at competitions.

Muhammad — who won a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics wrote: “Being the first Muslim woman in a hijab on Team USA was a journey riddled with obstacles, but never was I denied the opportunity to play sport because of my faith. Religious freedom is a human right. It’s painful to see how far France has digressed and how normal virulent xenophobia has become.”

This hijab ban is just the latest attack on the freedom of Muslim women in France. In 2010, President Nicholas Sarkozy placed a ban on all face coverings, which include the burqa and niqab.

This new proposal to ban the hijab has sparked criticism and outrage around the world.

The hijab or headscarf is a traditional form of head covering worn by some Muslim women as part of their religious and spiritual journey. The ban is being justified as a means to empower women. A second amendment would ban parents from participating in school trips and activities with their children if they are dressed in religious clothing.

” My first world championships was actually in Paris, France. It was held at the Grand Palais and one of my most vivid memories of that competition was the support I received from all of the French Muslims in the stands— my hijab serving as a marker of the faith we shared” Mohammed wrote on Facebook.

The French Senate’s move comes as part so-called “anti-separatism” bill which critics have denounced, arguing it singles out the minority Muslim population.

“Every woman should have the choice to wear what she wants and the opportunity to play sport, regardless of her faith. We must stand together and vehemently denounce discrimination in all of its forms,” she added.