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French Sportswear Brand Forced To Eliminate Hijabs For Female Runners After Receiving Death Threats

Muslims constitute a sizeable minority of French citizens. Unsurprisingly, this has brought with it a fair amount of push for inclusion as well as pushback from more bigoted sectors of French society.

One of the biggest hot-button issues in the country has been over the hijab. While any full face covering, such as the burka and niqab, have been banned in the European nation since 2011, the hijab has only been subject to the same restrictions in government buildings.

Now there is a new salvo in the battle against the headscarf. A major French sportswear retailer—Decathlon—had been selling hijabs for runners.

However, the products were discontinued after public outcry.

The brand explicitly stated that they were discontinuing the product because of threats.

People were upset by these threats.

Some misunderstood and thought the threats were of a boycott. However the threats were of attacks on stores and violence against employees.

While countries and cultures that force women to wear a hijab may reinforce the idea of a hijab as a symbol of oppression, some Muslim women choose wear it as a tool of self-expression and empowerment.

Many were quick to point this out.

Hopefully we can soon live in a world in which we can’t dictate what women wear.

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Written by Dana Levinson

Dana Aliya Levinson is an actress, writer, and trans activist. She graduated with honors from the New School where she wrote extensively about political and ethnic identity in the middle-east. She was a 2014-2015 Dramatists Guild Fellow, and has written about politics and trans issues for The Huffington Post, Women's Health, Nylon, and The Notice Blog.