Bonjour, hijabi

Is French feminism racist against headscarf-wearing Muslims?

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A Muslim woman on a street in the northern French city of Lille. PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

Although most of the attention paid to headscarf-wearing Muslim women — known colloquially as hijabis — has developed in the wake of terrorist attacks in France, anti-Islamic sentiments have been building in the country for more than 40 years, writes author Christine Delphy in a blog post for The Guardian. People in France continue to raise questions of whether Islam is compatible with democracy and French culture, and Delphy argues the tension is manifesting in racist behavior, especially against hijabi women. In 2004, a law banning schoolgirls from wearing the headscarf was passed in favor of defending laïcité, or political secularism. In France, instead of considering that choosing to wear the hijab is an act of feminism, it is viewed as oppressive, Delphy points out. France is currently in the midst of a great societal divide, and Delphy believes white feminists there are contributing to furthering the gap.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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