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Argument: Public bans on head scarves encourage private bans

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The French bank Société Générale has admitted to turning away a Muslim woman from its branch in Paris on Monday, December 22 2003, after she refused their demands to take off her hijab. Further more the bank has refused to apologise, saying that the "over-zealous" security guards were following orders to deter robbers.

Muslim Women Refused Passports

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, in April 2003, insisted Muslim women be forced to remove their hijab for identity card / passport photographs citing a 1999 ruling.

Muslim Women Denied Medical Treatment

President Chirac in a televised address stated that Muslim women will now be prohibited from requesting a female doctor treat them even if one is available.

A French doctor has put up a sign, reminiscent of the "No Blacks" and "No Jews" signs of previous shameful times, which reads 'I refuse to treat veiled women' in the waiting room of his Paris-based medical clinic. Further, it demands that Muslims women remove their hijab before entering his clinic. The doctor explains "I was shocked due to the increasing numbers of veiled women in our neighbourhood... living in France necessitates... that women should not wear Hijab." (IOL 24 Jan 2004 & Reuters 5 Jan 2004).

Muslim Women Denied Employment

President Chirac has insisted that private businesses should be allowed to ban their Muslim employees from wearing hijab "for reasons of security or client contact" and sack them if they don't abide with the ban. Chirac

Muslim Women Barred From Being Jurors

France's justice minister, Dominique Perben, said on Nov 25 2003 that he personally had decided to replace a woman juror who wore her Islamic headscarf in court, saying he wanted to ensure a fair trial. The woman was to have been a juror in a trial in Bobigny, outside Paris, for the attempted murder of two police officers.

Muslim Girls Barred From Sports

On 10 June 2002, Willesden Judo Club (from Britain) attended a tournament with French Judo clubs near Paris. One of the kids on the British team, 10 year old Zainab, was barred by the french organisers from taking part because she wore a hijab along with her judo uniform. They demanded she remove her hijab, then she would be allowed to play. She took a stand for what she believed in and refused to be bullied. To their credit the whole British team of over 100 participants renounced the 35 medals they has won so far and walked out in solidarity with Zainab. (see full story)

Hijab Fashion Shows Banned

Jean-Pierre Brard, the mayor of the Paris suburb of Montreuil-sous-Bois, has banned two fashion shows because they featured hijabs (Oct 4 2004). "Ready to wear for Muslim Women", a women-only event was organized by the "Jasmeen" label."

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