PARIS - Terrified by increasing physical attacks against their community, French Muslims have taken to the streets to protest assaults on women over wearing hijab, appealing for protection.
I am French, I am a Muslim, I have the right to my dignity, Rabia, a victim of Islamophobic attack, told Press TV on Sunday, June 23.They must stop Islamophobia.
I cannot understand why my hijab is a reason for aggression.
Four Muslim women have recently been physically attacked in Paris.
One of the Muslim women, 21, has lost her baby after being attacked last week by two skinheads while walking in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil.
Media reports have initially said that the pregnant woman was assaulted because of her face-veil (niqab). But later it was found out that the woman only donned the hijab.
The attack came three weeks after a veiled Muslim woman in Argenteuil was targeted in a similar manner.
French police also invited the anger of Muslims in the neighborhood after attempting to arrest a woman for wearing the face-veil earlier this month.
The repeated attacks were seen as a result of a law banning the wearing of niqab in public places.
France banned the wearing of face-veil in public places in 2011.
Offenders are fined 150 euros ($189) or required to take part in a citizenship class.
People who force women to wear a face-veil risk up to a year in prison and a fine of $41,000.
It came after the European country banned the wearing of hijab, an obligatory code of dress in Islam, in 2004.
French Muslims have called on the government to provide protection to their community.
The government has some complicity in the fact that French society still confuses the burqa with the simple hijab like mine, many Muslims wonder if the government wants this confusion to continue, said Muslim activist Sumeja Rahmani.
The [French] interior ministry must protect everyone from insecurity regardless of any distinctions such as gender, color or religion.
France is home to a Muslim community of nearly six million, the largest in Europe.
French Muslims have long complained of rising discrimination and hostile sentiments in the European country.
A recent IFOP poll found that almost half of French see Muslims as a threat to their national identity.
French Muslims have also complained of restrictions on building mosques to perform their daily prayers.
The French government has outlawed Muslim street prayers, a sight far-right leader Marine Le Pen likened to the Nazi occupation.
Amnesty International has criticized France and a number of European countries as Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland for discriminating against their Muslim minorities.The London-based group said several European countries have made policy decisions in recent years that discriminate against their Muslim citizens, citing bans on face-veils and other religious symbols in schools as being among the most damaging measures.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net