Olympic hijabs

Interesting to read that although France will not allow its athletes to wear a hijab in the Olympic village, the IOC says that this location is theirs and their rules apply.

It’s difficult… France is meant to be a secular country… with religion kept to a personal/private level… (I know I’m explaining this badly… but …)

Therefore, if one is officially representing France (the country)… one needs to be seen to appear secular ie not wearing anything which has a religious link…
what one does/wears/says in private is, of course, another matter.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out… :wink:




Isn’t that taking laïcité beyond its boundaries as defined by the Republic?

“De [la laïcité] … découle la liberté de manifester ses croyances ou convictions dans les limites du respect de l’ordre public.” https://www.gouvernement.fr/qu-est-ce-que-la-laicite

Wearing a hijab is hardly a challenge to public order, is it?

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Two (and a half) points I’d like to make

Firstly, whether or not it’s a threat to public order is a secondary issue. The primary one is not representing secular France in an official capacity in a religious garment. However, I’d be interested to learn if this has ever, or is ever likely to be applied to professional footballers’ tattoos. Don’t know about les Bleus but certainly lots of S American players have Christ tattoos (inspired by Maradona’s ‘hand of God’?).

A sub-point to the above is that in a situation where most competitors are wearing highly refined technical clothing to help them achieve a maximum performance, traditional, or quasi-traditional Muslim garb is likely to be a hindrance and the wearer is unlikely to be able to compete successfully at the highest level in most track and field events.

Secondly and on an entirely different tack, as a retiree, I’m not familiar with current Health & Safety legislation in the UK or France, but I think it could have been used to ban the abaya - imagine a wearer tripping on a flight of stairs in a crowd - or having an accident in woodwork while using a lathe, or a deep fat fryer in a cooking class - trailing garments are hazardous in all sorts of situations - if people want to wear them on the street that’s fine, but there’s lots of situations in modern institutional life where mediaeval garb’s not that practical and can actually be hazardous.


Are you French ?

Is that relevant?

Yup it is !

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Go on then, explain why.

With reference to the source quoted.

No more that 500 words. Careless and untidy work will be penalised :rofl::fr::scream_cat:

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Don’t select anyone who wears a hijab.

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Answer my question first please !

What’s French for Mexican standoff?


It is if you are representing France in an official capacity as a member of a national team, because it’s against the law. It’s just as against the law as wearing a hijab at work if you are a civil servant, for example.


As its been outlawed in education now, my son said pupils are adapting other forms of covering up instead. He told one girl he did not want to get into any confrontation about it and reported himself to the principal who agreed. Laïicité was one of his nationality interview questions at the prefecture recently as well and he spoke as he had been taught and informed by the Academie/Rectorat.

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You have a different idea of what constitutes public order, then.

In general, from what I’ve seen, it’s the extreme anti-religionists and the far Right who would be the threat to public order, not the (perhaps repressed) women wearing the garment.

In the UK the government panders to the far Right and is subject to criticism by the UN, just like France’s!

We don’t want to normalises a drift towards Wahhabi-type Islam nor do we condone any ostentatious expression of religious affiliation in a state context. That’s how we do things, you can like it or not but it’s the law.

Repressed women don’t get to represent France at the Olympics because they aren’t allowed to do sports just as they aren’t allowed to get enough education to get a job as a civil servant. So hijab-wearing isn’t necessary.

The far right and the far left both need to be kept in check as well.

Who are these extreme anti-religionists of whom you speak? Here you can be as religious as you like, just at home or in a place specifically dedicated to your religion, not in the state-run sphere (school, mairie, tax office, police station etc)


Looking from the outside, a lot of what the French government says about Islam is quite repressive. I’m not a Muslim, as you know, but I take what you might call the Martin Niemöller “First they came for the Communists …” view.

(Here’s one article: What France's Treatment of Its Muslim Citizens Reveals | TIME)

If you create a culture hostile to a substantial part of society, then you encourage people to be beastly to each other. It really does start to look like the UK!

I completely understand that the French might feel under threat, especially in certain areas like 93, but that is just leading to a rhetoric of conflict and repression.

How ethnically diverse is the French government, by the way? Is it only Pap Ndiaye, or are there other non-white people?

There is probably a greater proportion of non-white people in the government than there are in French society as a whole, I haven’t done the arithmetic.
I tend to think that as with most European governments there are too many old white men but that’s probably just a knee-jerk reaction on my part.

Im not trying actively to offend you here but every time you talk about religion in France you demonstrate a complete (and dare I say it deliberate) miscomprehension of how we do things here so I’m not going to continue a pointless discussion we have had several times before, I’m not a fan of ourobouros.

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You might have the kindness to explain what I’ve misunderstood :slight_smile: I’m eager to learn - that’s why I ask questions and express opinions.

We don’t have religion in the public sphere in France. It is a private thing for home or a specifically dedicated place. Noticeable adherence to any religion or other affiliation is not allowed in state organisations. That’s all. We don’t care what the religion is, if it is making itself noticed, it will be made to return to its proper sphere. Right now it’s Islam, often politically instrumentalised but it doesn’t alter the fact that it needs to stay at home. Maybe it could be a different religion in a few years’ time. It is the same for any religion.
We don’t care what sort it is and we don’t want to know.