The veil on the real issues

Here we go again. Regularly, politicians, media and other agitators of thought hit a line of “veilophobia”. Once again, the finger is pointed at a piece of cloth not to mention the underlying societal problems, the disintegration of society under the weight of inequalities linked to neoliberal positions.

Since the school outing during which an elected representative pointed the finger at a mother, under the pretext that she was wearing a hijab on her head, the public sphere has no more brain time than for “secularism”, completely overlooking the original meaning of the term. On the government’s website, one can read the following:

Laicity is based on three principles and values: freedom of conscience and freedom to manifest one’s convictions within the limits of respect for public order, the separation of public institutions and religious organizations, and the equality of all before the law regardless of their beliefs or convictions.

If I can still read, I perceive the words “liberty”, “public order” and “equality”. Is that true that wearing a veil, once a symbol of belonging to Islam, is a breach of public order! Whereas obviously, the interventions of the “thinkers” of our world (all hired by CNews) are a definite disturbance. We’re talking about “the veil is a symbol of submission of women to men”. This argument is often put forward by men for whom we feel that the condition of women is a sincere concern, or about the “political veil” where the wearing of this garment would be nothing but a thumb in the nose to the republic (I can’t capitalize it anymore). Let’s stop the fantasy! Guys, assume that you don’t like Muslims, for many reasons, including the good old “they’re more tanned than we are”. It’s a form of racism, and rejection of the other, that finds a way to cling to the first argument that comes along.

I’m not a historian of religions. I’m not going to give you a lecture on the reasons for the veil. In any case, we are in France, and I like to think that if a woman wears the hijab, it is a personal choice linked to her conviction (religious or not): it is freedom. Our state of rights does not impose anything, unlike some other countries. Family pressure can, of course, have something to do with it, but in the end, is it up to the law to go and put its nose in it? It certainly is not. Let’s stop the hypocrisy: the agitation around the veil is (they are) political, and only aims to point the finger at a part of our multicultural society and to make us forget the real issues of our time: the distribution of wealth and the incredible social inequality.