Maryam Pougetoux, leader of a student union at Paris’ Sorbonne University, is the latest victim of Islamophobic hate after appearing in a documentary … in a hijab.
In it, the 19-year-old student talked about the ongoing student protests in France. She was met with immense hate online - not for her views, but merely because she wears the hijab.
France’s interior minister, Gerard Collomb, was among those who criticized the student’s appearance, referring to Pougetoux’s choice of attire as a “provocation,” according to BBC.
Marlene Schiappa, the country’s Equality Minister, called it a “form of promotion of political Islam.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, the 19-year-old called the entire debate “pathetic. I wasn’t expecting it to become a government matter,” she said.
“My veil has no political function. It is given a political meaning that I don’t give it myself… It is my faith. I shouldn’t have to justify myself.”
The hate was taken to another level by one French magazine
French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, which has previously sparked controversy over its anti-Islam cartoons, released a vile cartoon in light of the hate, in which it depicted the 19-year-old as a monkey.
The cartoon’s thought bubble reads: “they chose me to head the UNEF (French National Student Union).”
Twitter users stood in solidarity with #MaryamPougetoux
Disgusting racist trash vile cover
This disgusting racist trash vile cover from #CharlieHebdo portrays a young Muslim girl as a monkey. Why? Because she wears hijab. And they ask Muslims to rewrite the Holy Quran because it’s antisemitic? This is the typical hypocrisy of the French establishment. Islamophobia. pic.twitter.com/MfWGMl9qms— Chima Elbialy (@ChimaElbialy) May 24, 2018
Hypocrites can’t handle headstrong women
Not the magazine’s first time
In 2017, the magazine sparked outrage after releasing an Islamophobic cartoon in response to the terrorist attacks in Barcelona.
The cartoon attempted to mock the common statement “Islam is the religion of peace,” which is often used to indicate that the religion in its essence, away from fundamentalist interpretations of its teachings, calls for peace rather than violence.
In it, two people can be seen lying in a pool of blood, with the words: “Islam: religion of peace… Eternal!”
It came in reference to the suspected extremists of Moroccan decent who rammed a van through the crowds in Barcelona on August 17, which left 15 people dead and more than 100 others injured.
Feeding into the Islamophobic rhetoric that insists Islam is inherently violent, Charlie Hebdo’s cover lumped all Muslims - who make up some 1.5 billion people around the world - under one pool of radicalized murderers.