When the French government in 2004 banned the hijab from classrooms, a slew of Muslim-majority governments made it their business to argue against this step, including those of Egypt, Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, plus Al-Qaeda, the Islamic Army in Iraq, and the Palestinian Authority. (For documentation, see my weblog entry, "Death to France?")
In response, Ihab Fawzi, a senior official at the Egyptian foreign ministry, called in Canada's deputy ambassador to Cairo, Christopher Hull, to express concern over what it called "mounting signs of racism and intolerance in Canada." The ministry issued a statement setting out its vision of human rights in Canada: "The question of wearing the headscarf should remain a part of individual freedoms, so long as it does not harm security, public order or the values of a society." In response, Hull noted that the Quebec soccer authorities made the decision, which does not represent the position of his government.
Comments: (1) What strikes me with regard to hijabs (and also British magical-realist novels, Danish cartoons, and other developments) is how Muslim-majority governments have made Shar‘i-related issues in the West their direct concern. I expect this will grow over time and will become a serious source of friction.
(2) The Egyptian government takes a disproportionate interest in these cases. (March 8, 2007)