My Thoughts On The Possible Hijabi Ban In France

When you look at my photos on this blog, do you think that I look oppressed?
When you read my stories here, is there any part of you that believe I need "saving" of any kind?

As a hijabi, I'm personally offended by the French Senate's vote to ban under-18 youths and mothers accompanying their kids on school trips (multiple question marks here) from wearing the hijab.

I am outraged on behalf of my Muslim sisters there who won't have the freedom in choosing what they want — or do not want — to put on their own body. 

I am hugely embarrassed for France as a nation for having senate members with ignorant, archaic, and misogynistic beliefs.

They mistakenly deemed themselves worthy of limiting the choices that are given to us as a Muslimah — because, YES, that's what a hijab really is: a choice. To wear or not to wear, that is the question, and understand this: only that individual female Muslim can answer "To wear" or "Not for me" to that question. Understand this: it may be a decree in our holy Quran for women to cover up our aurat, but it's not something anyone, not a living soul, can force onto a female Muslim.
Nor do we need anyone forbidding us to put it on when it does absolutely no harm to anyone, and especially not to the wearer!

I am disappointed in their so-called first world leaders who cast those votes under the disguise of "freeing" Muslim girls from oppression when in fact, it's their attempt at a thinly-veiled Islamophobia — because what else could it be, when the head-covering of a nun is attributed to "devotion", but the similar head-covering hijab is seen as "extremism"?

I am as opposed to this possible France hijab ban as much as I am opposed to Iran's mandatory hijab ruling. I am opposed to any kind of policing on what women should or should not wear.

I am, plain and simple, disgusted that there are people even considering this ban.

The burqa, the niqab, the burkini, and now the hijab? What is it about skin being covered up that scares the French so much?

Is it because there is invisible, unfathomable power in a woman choosing to cover up when it doesn't visibly benefit them in this world? 

Is it because they cannot understand the willpower and strength that it takes for a woman to envelop themselves in extra layers when the weather calls for the opposite?
(Because you might know how much I've talked — OK, moaned/complained — about how hot and humid Malaysia is, aghhh, but yet, this hijab stays on, covering my neck and hair strands?)

I'm not sure if I'll ever understand their reasoning for their votes, but do I want or even need to understand it? I don't know if I do. After all, this is coming from the same country that has a lower age of consent for sex (15! I mean—???) than the age of consent for the hijab. The logic spewed by these minds is utterly baffling, to say the least.

Right now, there's still hope that the ban won't get passed as the law. I hope my sisters in France, both Muslims and non-Muslims, will fight this ruling. I hope our message to the French government gets across: Do better. Get educated. Listen to the Muslim community, who are as much French as your other communities. Correct those backward steps you've taken, then move forward and be the kind of nation that people around the world would marvel at, instead of just having the one tower to be the sole interest in other people's eyes.

Be Better.

•     •     •     •     •     •     •

This is what my humble words could offer on this. All said, with love, by someone who had so loved living briefly in Paris but has zero desire to visit anytime soon — but with the hope there could be positive changes happening soon 

PS: I wrote on why wearing the hijab is my choice - and only mine for Yahoo! Style years ago, if you want to have a read!


  1. I completely understand your thoughts. It would be nice to live in a world in which people respect each other, regardless of appearance, origin, religion or clothing.
    I have to admit I used to think it was forced upon women. Coercion in whatever direction I judge. That's why I'm happy about the www and the opportunity to have contact with many different people and to learn from them.
    Thank you for your words.

    1. Ah, that certainly would be an amazing world to live in. But, alas, we have to make do with the current one we live in now.

      Thank you so much for your support, Tina. I imagine it can't have been the easiest thing for you to admit your previous stance on it, but I am thankful for it. Very thankful that you changed your mind about it.

      The world wide web can be a wonderful place when you look in the right places. I myself am constantly learning so much from people around the world, from those with different beliefs and cultural practices than mine. Which, actually, when you really think about it, akes you think that this world - the real world, not just online - isn't such a bad place after all, is it? =)

  2. Insightful write-up! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I agree that there shouldn't be a reinforcement on how people dress themselves. France being a country that's big on freedom of expression perhaps should reconsider their policies as what good is it to police anyone dressing according to their culture/religious practices. I had to cover myself up during my time in secondary school/pre-u here in Malaysia for classes that had to do with religious studies. Being that I'm not religious, I felt imposed and didn't like it one bit. In fact, I used the head covering as a way to hide myself. LOL! I'm a believer that if it's your choice to don a hijab, then it's great. But for children, I don't quite get it as I find kids have no choice as they're under the full supervision of their parents. Government policing choices though, I don't agree with at all.

    1. Ugh, that's not cool at all. I'm so sorry you were made up to cover up during those classes. I definitely don't agree with that practice. As long as students are dressed in a neat respectful manner and decent enough, and most importantly, COMFORTABLE in their own skin, why the fuss?

      I actually think it's OK for children to choose themselves too, as long they're given the freedom to ALWAYS choose. I don't agree with parents who legitimately force their teeny little ones to wear the hijab, I feel so bad for them when I see them all hot and bothered and sweating! I don't know if you know this, but in Islam, women are only asked to cover up when the reach puberty - and even then it is a CHOICE to be made, and it's part of someone's personal relationship with God.

      I've heard stories on this. A sister of someone I know was forced to wear the hijab since she was little, alongside some other strict rules the parents enforced on her. She ended up rebelling against them all. She's all grown up now, and the last time I checked she no longer wears the hijab and now has a family of her own (and seems close to her family now too, thankfully). And then I have a close friend who was already in the hijab when we became friends at 7 (!!!) years old by her own choice and she continued to contentedly and happily wear the hijab until now. I myself experimented with the hijab outside of school when I was about around 15, and decided it wasn't for me yet so I decided to wait until I was ready to wear it for real. My cousin started wearing the hijab around the same age I experimented with it, except she kept it on.

      It seems like there's only real happiness and contentment when we are all allowed to choose to put on whatever we're comfortable with!


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Hi, I'm Liyana

I'm a style & lifestyle blogger based in sunny (and ever humid) Malaysia. On The Good Weekender, you can find typed journals of my evolving modest personal style, travel adventures, skincare/beauty updates, home decor things, and stories of other bits and pieces of my everyday life. I hope you'll enjoy flipping through these pages of my virtual book!