The Muslim veil is a hot topic in the Western European country after a political party publicly attacked a Muslim woman for wearing the hijab.
Rabat – French President Emmanuel Macron is at the center of a controversy after his comments on the Muslim veil, or hijab, as it is known in Islam.
On Thursday, October 24, the French president told reporters that the wearing of hijabs in public spaces is not his “business.”
“However, in public services, at school and while educating children, the headscarf issue is my business. That is what secularism is about,” he added.
The French president continued that in some neighborhoods in France, “some people use the headscarf as a symbol to break one’s connection with the republic.”
Macron’s comments came two weeks after French far-right politician Julien Odoul requested that a veiled woman remove her hijab at a plenary meeting of the Regional Council of Burgundy-Franche-Comte on Friday, October 11.
The Muslim woman was accompanying her son at a school activity for children to explore the mission of the “democratic assembly.”
The attack on the Muslim woman prompted discussions on the wearing of hijabs in public spaces.
Macron’s statement received drew criticism from both Muslims and parties against the hijab in public spaces.
France has a rapidly growing Muslim population.
World Population Review said that the population in France is estimated to be 65.10 million in 2019.
Muslims represent 8% of the population or six million. France is also one of the European countries with the highest levels of Islamophobia.
Recently, the deputy editor of French newspaper Le Figaro Yves Thread said on national television that he hates Islam religion.
“If I see a Muslim woman on the same bus as I am, I’ll leave the bus,” he said during debate show “Le Grand Soir” (the Big Evening) broadcast on LCI on October 14,