In 2010, LOI 2010-1192 was enacted, banning the use of head-covering religious symbols in public spaces (Legifrance.gouv.fr). The reasoning behind this prohibition was that the veil goes against the secular values of the nation and that banning it is an effort to integrate Muslim migrant populations into French society. Nevertheless, this effort towards “integration” takes away the freedom of Muslim women to express their religious identity.
For instance, Muslim model Rawdah Mohamed said, “How can you have a discussion about my identity and not include me? I don’t think politicians are the ones who are supposed to define what it means to be a Muslim woman” (Lang 2021). One could argue that the ban is an Islamophobic attack posing as a law for secularization, which would undoubtedly be an assault on the freedom of Muslim migrants.
Nevertheless, if the sole purpose of the veil ban is to upkeep French secular values and promote the integration of Muslim communities, the ban still breaches the freedom of Muslim women who choose to wear the veil.
Podcast: “Debating France’s Contentious New Veil Ban” by Pavel Butorin, 2011.
Opinion Column: “Tearing Away the Veil” by Jean-François Copé, 2010.