France's senate bans wearing of hijab at sports events

France's senate bans wearing of hijab at sports events
Before the Senate's vote, the right-wing Republican party amended the legislation being voted on to explicitly target 'the wearing of the veil' at sports events.
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The impact is likely to fall hardest on Muslim women [EyeEm via Getty]

The French Senate passed a measure on Tuesday banning the wearing of the hijab and other religious symbols at certain sports events.

The Senate's latest decision came as it considered broader sports legislation on Tuesday and Wednesday. The measure was proposed by the right-wing Republican party, and passed by 160 votes to 143.

The amendment initially targeted "the conspicuous [visible] wearing of religious signs" while participating in "sports events and competitions organised by sports federations and affiliated associations".

But before the vote, the Republicans amended the proposed legislation to explicitly mention "the wearing of the veil".

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Roxana Mărăcineanu, the French sports minister, said she was opposed to the measure.

France outlawed the wearing of religious symbols in schools in 2004. It imposed a ban on wearing the full-face veil (niqab) in public in 2011.

It is unclear whether the new ban would be implemented for the 2024 Paris Olympics. The Olympic organising committee did not immediately answer a request for comment from The Associated Press.