‘Hijab Day’ at prestigious French university stirs controversy
FRANCE 24A group of university students have rekindled the heated debate over the acceptance of the Muslim veil in French society as they invited fellow classmates at the prestigious Sciences Po university to try on the garment.
Around a dozen young women wearing colourful Muslim veils paced about nervously in the main hall of Sciences Po university in central Paris on Wednesday, bewildered by the numerous journalists on hand for “Hijab Day” and seemingly unprepared to answer questions about an event that had roused such attention.
Initially reluctant to explain why they were inviting fellow classmates to don the religious attire, they eventually gained a measure of confidence as two women stepped forward to participate.
“We could no longer allow people to say things supposedly on our behalf, it was time to speak for ourselves,” a student identifying herself as Laetitia told journalists, insisting that the event aimed to encourage discussion among students, but in no way intended to convert people to Islam.
Laetitia and others in the group said they were disheartened by recent public comments by members of France’s Socialist government that likened wearing the Muslim veil to enslavement.
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