Paris Olympics 2024: France Bans Own Athletes from Wearing Veil
Story Code : 1083976
Appearing as a guest on the show Sunday In Politics, airing on the channel France 3, Amelie Oudea-Castera said that no member of the French delegation would be allowed to wear the head covering.
"The representatives of our delegations in our French teams will not wear the veil," she said, further hinting that restrictions may be extended.
"As for the French position on the subject, we have, thanks to a recent decision of the Council of State, expressed very clearly with the prime minister our attachment to a regime of strict secularism, strictly applied in the field of sport," she added.
The statement comes amid a heightened focus on Muslim dress in France, shortly after the country implemented a ban on school girls wearing the abaya dress.
Muslim women in France are already banned from wearing the veil, or hijab, within public institutions, such as government offices, schools and universities.
Many employers also have unwritten rules on hiring women who wear the headscarf or decide to start wearing one during employment.
While in theory the restrictions apply to all religions, in practice, Muslim women, who adopt headscarves or abayas for religious or cultural reasons, are the main targets.
The ban on women wearing hijab at the event has triggered a wave of anger online and many have been using social media platforms to call for boycotts of the event.
Late last month, France's Education Minister Gabriel Attal announced that wearing the abaya would no longer be allowed in educational institutions as it goes against the principles of secularism.
That decision caused shockwaves around the country when a Muslim girl was excluded from school due to wearing the full-length robe.
In previous incidents, schoolgirls have even been excluded after wearing skirts that were deemed not short enough!
Activists and rights groups have long expressed concern that an intense focus on the hijab and Muslim women's clothing in general - often under the guise of policies prohibiting religious symbols - was a symptom of normalized Islamophobia in some EU countries.