French PM’s Remarks on Hijab and Women Spark Controversy

photo curtsy of Oumma.com

Main point: Manuel Valls, former French Prime Minister, debated the issue of Hijab with Attika Trabelsi, entrepreneur and activist on channel France 2

Source: Morocco World News

Writer: Chaima Lahsini

Attika Trabelsi, a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, criticized the politician over his remarks on veiled women. Last August, Manuel Valls sparked controversy with his statement regarding one of the symbols of the Republic: “Marianne, a symbol of the Republic, has her breast bare because she feeds the people; she doesn’t wear the veil because she’s free. This is what the Republic stands for!”

Other comments put to question, were those the ex-Prime Minister voiced on April 4, 2016. “What this veil represents for women, is not a fashion trend, no, it is not a color one wears, no: it is an enslavement of women… We must distinguish between what is a veil, a scarf worn by elderly women, and the requisition of a political sign that basically confronts the French society.”

ttira Trabelsi explained feeling “humiliated” by this “kind of speech,” arguing, “You are legitimizing speeches that cause violence against me.” Continuing, Trabelsi cites other examples of feeling marginalize, “In front of a bank, I am told that I cannot come in.

In interviews, I am asked repeatedly what I aspire to with this veil,” she reported. “Experiences like mine are multiplying,” she said.  She went on, describing instances when women from her associations were asked to leave an amphitheater, or were discouraged from becoming a doctor or journalist.  Travelsi concluded her arguments saying, “Dreams are broken, French talent is wasted.”

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