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At the Paris Olympics, only French athletes will be subject to a dress code that prevents them from wearing the hijab. Although the UN Human Rights Office claims ‘no-one should impose on a woman what she needs to wear or not wear’ successive French governments have been doing precisely this for three decades. The way that Muslims dress, pray, eat and organise has been subject to relentless forms of scrutiny and discipline, all in the name of ‘neutrality’. Associations organising against Islamophobia have been identified as ‘enemies of the Republic’ and banned.

This conference will examine the roots, function and extent of Islamophobia and state racism in contemporary France. Discussion will focus on the nature and impact of gendered Islamophobia, on the states of exception created by Islamophobic policies and attitudes and on the relationship between racialisation, authoritarianism and Islamophobia.

Entrance is free but registration is required via Ticket Tailor.


  • Ibrahim Bechrouri, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York
  • Amina Easat-Daas, De Montfort University, Leicester
  • Olivier Esteves, Université de Lille
  • Malika Hamidi, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Nadia Kiwan, University of Aberdeen
  • Fraser McQueen, University of Bristol
  • Kawtar Najib, University of Liverpool
  • Jim Wolfreys, King’s College London
  • Reza Zia-Ebrahimi, King’s College London

This conference is supported by the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France Initiative Fund, King’s College London Arts and Humanities Research Funding and the University of Aberdeen Grants Academy.

At this event

Jim Wolfreys

Reader in French and European Politics

Reza Zia-Ebrahimi

Reader in the History of Nationalism and Race

Event details

Lecture Theatre 1
Bush House
Strand campus, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG