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Intern. solidarity: women in Palestine march against French oppression

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  • Mr. P.I. Hublou
    International solidarity Women in Palestine march against French headscarf oppression For Peace, Democracy and Human Rights Palestinian women protest against
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2004
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      International solidarity
      Women in Palestine march against French headscarf oppression
      For Peace, Democracy and Human Rights



      Palestinian women protest against French headscarf ban
      By The Associated Press via Ha'aetz Jan 5, 2004

      http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/379689.html

      Some 300 female supporters of Islamic Jihad marched Monday through the
      streets of Gaza City protesting a French proposal to bar Muslim women from
      wearing headscarves in state schools.


      Chanting, "Islamic women against the French orders," the women marched to
      the French cultural center here in a show of solidarity with their Muslim
      sisters in France.

      The protests come after French President Jacques Chirac asked parliament to
      ban the wearing of the "hijab," or head scarf, and other conspicuous
      religious symbols - such as Jewish skullcaps and large crosses - in public
      schools to protect the country's secular nature.

      The women in Gaza, all wearing traditional head coverings and carrying
      Palestinian flags and black Islamic Jihad flags, marched through the streets
      of downtown Gaza waving signs in Arabic, English and French.

      "Where is the religious freedom that the West was championing day and
      night," read one of the signs.

      Arriving at the cultural center, a group of women handed in a petition
      signed by the "women of Palestine," calling Chirac to "immediately retract
      the decision and to allow Muslim females to wear the hijab, a symbol of
      purity, honor and modesty."

      The French decision has sparked an outcry in many Muslim countries, where
      Islamic leaders have said the hijab is a mandatory religious obligation.

      But Chirac recently received some backing when a leading Egyptian cleric,
      Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, ruled last week that Muslim women should respect
      French laws.

      The French proposal creates the impression that the West is anti-Islam, said
      marcher Rawia Ahmed, 32.

      "Muslims, faced by such a decision, will lose confidence in the western
      principles of democracy, justice and human rights," she said.

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