Outrage at call for Muslim mother to remove headscarf at French council meeting


At a regional council meeting in Burgundy on Friday, a councillor from France's far-right Rassemblement National party (formerly the Front National) demanded that a woman in the public gallery should remove her headscarf or leave. She was accompanying a visiting group of primary school children, which included her son who burst into tears over the humiliation of his mother. A photo of the incident immediately caused outrage as it circulated on social media, and has since developed into a major political controversy, dividing members of government and highlighting the blurring of the boundaries of France’s secular rules and their misuse as a weapon for Islamophobia.

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There has been a mixed, tardy and often awkward political reaction to the ugly public humiliation of a headscarf-wearing Muslim woman and her young son, who was reduced to tears, by a far-right member of a French regional council during its plenary meeting in Burgundy on October 11th.