18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman

Women asked to remove headscarves at some French airports

Read Comment
28 June 2012, Thursday /VEDAT BULUT
Some French airports have begun to ask headscarf-wearing women to take off their scarves for security reasons, which has spurred criticism from Muslims in the country, who find the practice a discriminatory one.

The Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) has announced that Nantes Atlantique Airport has made it obligatory for headscarf-wearing women to take off their scarves and place them in the X-ray machine along with their other belongings.

The practice was put into effect two weeks ago by the SGA, the company responsible for Nantes Atlantique Airport's security. Women affected by the new rules requested that they be allowed to take off their headscarves in a special room staffed only by women, but the request was denied. The women were told that they must place their headscarves on the conveyor going through the X-ray machine if they wanted to avoid missing their plane.

The SGA defended their actions, claiming that dangerous materials could be hidden under the headscarves, which has triggered outrage in France's Muslim community.

According to EU airport security regulations, security staff do not have the authority to ask women to take their headscarves off.

Narin Yüksel, one of the women who were asked to remove their headscarves at Nantes Atlantique Airport, said it was the first time she faced such discrimination in the 30 years she's lived in the country.

“I am 65. What could there be under the headscarf of a 65-year-old woman? They told me that I would not be able to board my plane if I don't take off my headscarf,” she told Today's Zaman.

Yüksel's daughter Hatice said security officials at the airport did not even allow her mother to drop her headscarf to her shoulder, saying that the headscarf should be placed in the X-ray machine.

“When we asked them to do the security check in a special room, they threatened to call the police if my mom didn't take off her headscarf,” she said.

The CCIF said the new rule has been implemented not only at Nantes Atlantique Airport but also at Merignac Airport in Bordeaux after they received complaints from people using that airport.

The French Muslim Council (CFCM), which is tied to the French Interior Ministry, condemned the new security procedure and called on Interior Minister Manuel Valls to initiate an investigation into the case.

Union Des Associations Turques du Grand Ouest (UNATGO) President İsa Sevencan told Today's Zaman that they contacted Nantes Governor Christian de Lavernée and that he promised to put an end to the discriminatory practice.

“We will not allow such actions, which threatens our ability to coexist, to happen again,” Sevencan said.

Last week, a Turkish citizen, Kübra Kağıtçı, was not allowed into a bank in Belfort due to her headscarf. The number of Islamophobic attacks on headscarf-wearing women has been increasing in France in recent years. In 2011, 94 percent of Islamaphobic attacks in the country targeted women wearing headscarves.

The wearing of headscarves was banned at all French primary and high schools in 2004, but headscarves are still allowed at universities.

French airport security is known for its racism. My wife flew from Nimes airport on Sunday 10-3-2013 on Ryanair to Charleroi. She had two 50 ml Sisheido cream pots in a plastic transparent bag, total value approx 100 euro. The security offices threw the pots away in a trash bin telling her that the ...
Thank you France.
Aberathna Rathnayake
What's wrong to remove a scarf in order to get more security?
James is being wrong. Actually British are freeing India from muslim rulers. Of course British did discrimnation in India but they also helping India with railways and learning English. And they also taught us democracy.
I don’t get it—now some French airports are asking women to remove their hijab for “security” reasons!!! So, then, if one could hide something dangerous in their hijab, then couldn’t one also hide something dangerous in their pants which is most times heavier and bulkier? If that is a possibility, w...
Hi Ramesh, it seems you are in your own world of fantasy, what you talking about are scenes from bollywood make belief films and you have seriously been brainwashed by the those that descriminated your people and ancestor and it was the Muslims that freed india of my british slavery rule, don't forg...
Ramesh, your name suggests that you are of Indian origin. Look up Indian history and see how discrimination against Indians in India was carried out by the British. From your comments, you are just as racist as the British were to your ancestors. Get real, Man !!!
Ramesh, Bomb can be easily hidden in your undies. Can the Indian authorities then ask you to remove it publicly? Just Think, It isnt necessary that the woman in picture is Sikh, I have seen many middle eastern women wear the same.
Hari Om
If terrorists are able to do something to the headscarf , then they are also able to do the same to all your clothes . Why don't you go naked for the sake of security ?
This is being good policy. Anyone can be wearing a burka or scarf and become a security risk. Best is to banning the scarf completely.
I wonder would they ask a nun to remove her head covering or is it just for Muslims, this ruling. As a convert to the Muslim faith (ex christian)I would like to know what this ruling really covers.
Mrs Husayni
That's just the way it is! We all know who is to thank for this! Stop being so rebellious and sensitive? Problems were made by some sickos, and the rest of us have to suffer. GET OVER IT! I do not like going into an xray machine, spreading my legs and arms so someone can see all of me including my p...
I recently went to Mexico on Holiday and was searched several times and had my bags checked, indeed I was unlucky but I'm white, not a Muslim and I have no issue with being checked over as security on aircraft is highly important. Now remember that if a Muslim woman was asked to remove her headscar...
Chris Manchester
FYI, the woman shown in the photo is a SIKH and not muslim.
Just Think
According to my religion I have to hold a brief case in my hand. The last time the security check asked me to drop it and put in on the x-ray machine. They did not respect my freedom of religion and are all briefcase-phobes and racists.
This nonsense Islamaphobia was invented by terrorist organization Muslim Brotherhood. One way to make air travel safe is to deport all Muslims and make a total on Muslim travel to the West.
Where is the problem? Of course we want security on airplanes, and of course terrorists will use every means to reach their devilish goals of murdering innocent people. If we take off our shoes, why should there be an exception for headscarves?? Makes no sense at all.
Click here to read all user comments
WORLD  Other Titles
Divers search for hundreds still missing in Korean ferry disaster
Ex-president apologizes for UNSC refusal to stop Rwanda genocide
Saudi conservatives protest Westernisation
Algerians trickle to polls in presidential vote
Search for Malaysia Airlines jet refocuses on drone scans of seafloor
Australian premier's resignation as a sign of less, not more, corruption
UK PM's former media aide tells court he heard hacked messages
Post, Guardian win Pulitzers for NSA revelations
Nigeria vows to protect May's ‘African Davos' in bomb-hit capital
Berlusconi ordered to do community service for tax conviction
Doctor to be tried in Britain's first female genital mutilation court case
Prosecutor wraps up Oscar Pistorius' grilling in murder trial
Syria opposition claims has evidence of chlorine gas attack
Egypt woman prof. targets young in bid to save Brotherhood
China seizes more than 10,000 illegal guns in crackdown
Macedonians vote for new president as general election nears
Complaints of serious fraud in Afghan polls exceed total in 2009
Indonesian parties in pact, clear way for top presidential candidate
UN climate panel warns emissions rising, blurs reason
Biden to visit Kiev to show US support for Ukraine unity
Iran rejects naming new United Nations envoy after US refusal
Death toll in fighting between Syrian rivals rises to 68
Venezuelan leader meets opposition
Egyptian police say kill two Brotherhood members in shootout
Murdered girl's mom says News of the World was force for good