The organization that governs the Islamic Solidarity Games has criticized France’s decision to prevent its Olympic athletes from wearing a hijab while participating in their respective events for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
The Riyadh based Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF), released a statement on Monday saying that the French proposal would “send a message of exclusion, intolerance and discrimination that goes against the Olympic spirit.”
France’s Sports Minister, Amelie Oudea-Castera, has defended the ban on hijabs for French athletes, citing a commitment to France’s strong secular culture.
Other participating nations will be reportedly subject to the rules and regulations of their national Olympic committees.
In response to the complaint, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesperson clarified that within the Olympic Village, IOC regulations apply, and there are no restrictions regarding the wearing of the hijab or any other religious or cultural attire.
Marta Hurtado, a spokesperson for the United Nations’ human rights division, also voiced objections to the proposed ban, emphasizing that in accordance with international human rights standards, restrictions on the expression of religious beliefs are only justifiable under specific circumstances.
The games are scheduled to take place from Jul. 26-Aug. 11, 2024.