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Basketball Players Urge French Authorities to Reconsider Hijab Ban Ahead of Olympics

A group of basketball players has called on French authorities to reconsider the hijab ban for female athletes. The activism group Basket Pour Toutes (Basketball For All) is defying the hijab ban in basketball and across all French sports. This comes as the country prepares to host the Olympic Games from July 26 to August […]

A group of basketball players has called on French authorities to reconsider the hijab ban for female athletes. The activism group Basket Pour Toutes (Basketball For All) is defying the hijab ban in basketball and across all French sports. This comes as the country prepares to host the Olympic Games from July 26 to August 11.

Human rights experts and members of Basket Pour Toutes assert that the hijab ban is part of a trend by policymakers “weaponizing” France’s tradition of laïcité (secularism) to exclude Muslim women and girls from French society. They have urged lawmakers to overturn Article 9.3, which was implemented without consultation from basketball clubs.

In December 2022, the French government amended Article 9.3 of the General Sports Regulations in Basketball, prohibiting the wearing of “any equipment with a religious or political connotation” at all levels and for all categories. Rights groups have drawn parallels with laws banning the headscarf and, later, the abaya (a loose-fitting, long-sleeved robe) in public schools, enacted in 2004 and 2023, respectively.

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franceHijab BanTDGThe Daily Guardian