A gaggle of sports activities federations from Muslim-majority international locations mentioned on Monday that France’s transfer to bar its Olympic athletes from carrying the hijab would “ship a message of exclusion”.
The 57-member Islamic Solidarity Sports activities Federation (ISSF), primarily based within the Saudi capital Riyadh, voiced “profound concern” over the French determination, which was taken in keeping with the nation’s strict guidelines on secularism.
French Sports activities Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera mentioned final month the French authorities was against any show of spiritual symbols throughout sporting occasions.
“What does that imply? Which means a ban on any kind of proselytising. Which means absolute neutrality in public providers,” she advised France 3 tv.
“The France staff is not going to put on the headband.”
The ISSF mentioned in its assertion on Monday that the hijab was “a facet of many Muslim ladies’s id and ought to be revered”, including that the French ban might forestall some French Muslim athletes from competing.
Paris Olympics 2024: To face with Muslim athletes, reject France’s hijab ban
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“The Olympics have traditionally celebrated range, unity and athletic excellence,” the assertion mentioned.
“By implementing a hijab ban for his or her athletes, a number would ship a message of exclusion, intolerance and discrimination that goes towards the Olympic spirit.”
The assertion urged French authorities “to rethink this ban” and known as for “significant engagement with the Muslim sports activities group in France.”
The ISSF was based in 1985 to serve members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, primarily based within the Saudi metropolis of Jeddah, “in all elements of sports activities actions”, in response to its web site.
It has organised 5 editions of the Islamic Solidarity Video games, most lately final yr in Turkey.
The UN human rights workplace has not addressed France’s hijab ban for its athletes immediately, however a spokeswoman mentioned final week that “no-one ought to impose on a lady what she must put on or not put on.”
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