This file photo taken on August 24, 2016 in Strasbourg, eastern France, shows French researcher and muslim-feminist Hanane Karimi speaking at her home. AFP / PATRICK HERTZOG
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France's Muslim women feel the sting of prejudice whether they choose to cover their heads or not – and many are beginning to speak out in a deluge of books, online postings and open letters. Traditional feminism is failing many Muslim women, to judge from an outpouring of complaints that they suffer prejudice on as many as three fronts at once – sex, religion and national origin.The hijab has become the preferred target of Islamophobes, they say, arguing that France's strict rules on separating religion from public life encourage identity politics – even though secularism is meant to protect religious and other freedoms.Prejudice against the garment comes from both the left and the right, causing unnecessary tensions and even fueling radical Islam, Muslim women activists say.Valls, who stepped down in December to mount a failed bid for the Socialists' presidential candidacy, said during the controversy that the veil was synonymous with "women's enslavement".Rossignol later retracted the remark, which she made last March in reference to designers creating high-fashion burkinis and hijabs targeting the Muslim market.
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