A French student union leader who has been accused by ministers of using her headscarf for political gain has hit back, calling the claims "pathetic". France's interior minister has personally criticised Maryam Pougetoux, who is Muslim, for being interviewed while wearing her headscarf. "It's my faith," the student told Buzzfeed News, adding: "[My hijab] has no political function." Ms Pougetoux, 19, is the president of the student union at Paris's Sorbonne.
She appeared in a documentary talking about student protests against the French president's educational reforms while wearing a hijab, or Muslim headscarf.
The French Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa said it was a "form of promotion of political Islam", adding that the students' union Unef "should tell us what values it wants to promote, clearly and coherently". Meanwhile, Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said Ms Pougetoux's appearance in a hijab was a "provocation" that he found "shocking". Wearing the Muslim headscarf was banned in French schools and some other public buildings in 2004 but it remains legal in universities.
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