French ‘feminist’ minister Rossignol compares veil-wearing Muslims to ‘negroes’
The outrageous comments follow a recent trend in racist and xenophobic sentiment specifically targeting how Muslim women dress – and usually coming from women of European origin objecting to Muslims having the freedom to choose what they wear.
What is France's obsession with the headscarf. It's quite simple, leave it up to women to decide & stop politicising it. #LaurenceRossignol— Nomad (@Nomad_LDN) March 30, 2016
Way to combine Islamophobia & racism in one sentence @laurossignol. Women rights minister fighting women choice to clothing? R u kidding me?— Kashif N Chaudhry (@KashifMD) April 1, 2016
The double standards of Rossignol were directed at fashion retailers catering for Muslim women, in particular, M&S’s modest swimsuit dubbed the “burkini”.
Nothing was said, however, about Catholic nuns or Orthodox Jews who also dress modestly.
Her comments were echoed by co-founder of designer brand Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Berge, who also said Muslim women should be taught “to revolt, to take their clothes off, to learn to live like most of the women in the rest of the world.”
Rossignol apologized for her racist slur, but refused to stand down from her other xenophobic remarks.
An online petition calling for the minister to resign has now gained over 30,000 signatures.
Muslim women from Gulf countries are the world’s largest buyers of designer labels. What’s more, Muslims spent a staggering $266 billion globally on clothing and footwear in 2013, a figure set to rise to $484 by 2019, according to a report by Reuters.
So while Rossignol refuses to apologize for alienating France’s five million Muslims, a new generation of Instagrammers are taking the modest fashion industry by storm.