Manuel Valls’ double standard on religious headwear

Via Loonwatch, here is French interior minister Manuel Valls demonstrating the double standard he applies to religious headwear, in a video put together by the Collectif contre l’Islamophobie en France.

First we see Valls in September last year responding to Marine Le Pen’s call for a ban on the yarmulke along with the hijab. He assures a Jewish audience in his capacity as a government minister that “French Jews can wear their kippa with pride”. (He forgot to add: “Except when they are students at a state school, of course, in which case they fall foul of the 2004 ban on conspicuous religious symbols, which I have no intention of lifting.”)

The CCIF contrasts Valls’ warm words about the kippa with his statement last month about Muslim women’s religious clothing. Responding to a report to the prime minister on integration that criticised French attitudes to Islam and recommended a more respectful approach to Muslim religious practices, including the hijab, Valls said: “The veil [used in France as a general term that refers to the headscarf rather than just the niqab], which prevents women from being what they are, will remain for me, and must remain for the Republic, an essential fight.”

As the CCIF comments: “Yes to the kippa, no to the hijab. Discriminatory, stigmatising remarks that are contrary to secularism.”