Malaysian group condemns controversial French bill

Jakarta, Indonesia

A Malaysian Muslim organization on Wednesday criticized the French Senate for passing a controversial bill purported to encourage religious hatred against Muslims and foster Islamophobia.

Earlier this week, the upper house passed legislation, Consolidating Respect for the Principles of the Republic, with 208 votes in favor and 109 votes against after two weeks of intense discussions. The National Assembly approved it in February.

The bill prohibits parents from wearing visible religious symbols when accompanying their children on school trips, wearing the burkini – a swimsuit that covers the entire body except the face, hands and feet and which is worn by many Muslim women – – in public swimming pools and “prevent underage girls from hiding their faces or wearing religious symbols in public space”.

It also prohibits “prayers on university premises and the display of foreign flags at weddings.”

In a statement, Mohamad Azmi Abdul Hami, head of the Malaysian Advisory Council of Islamic Organizations, said that “allowing far-right groups in French society and lawmakers to hate Muslims creates community tensions and creates violent conflict between the citizens of France. “

Azmi said the bill which includes new amendments under the guise of “fighting extremism” cannot be accepted “because it is not only against universal human rights but also against the principles of the Republic”.

The clause banning religious signs or clothing intended directly for Muslims and Muslim women should be repealed, he said, calling on the French government to stop legislating “against religious freedom.”

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