Many Muslim women argue that they choose to wear the burqa of their own accord in order for them to be appreciated and judged by their intellectual merits rather than their physical appearance. This, I consider to be an brilliant idea, but again, I can never shake the idea of why the burqa came to be used in the first place.
For many the face veil is a symbol of the oppression of women, for others it is a question of religious observance. In court however the question is fairly straight forward: How to achieve a fair trial for both the prosecution and the defence? Judges have to enable witnesses to give their best evidence and juries need to be able to assess those witnesses properly, not from behind fabric.
Politicians do a disservice to the public to pretend otherwise. It is possible to celebrate difference while encouraging cohesion, but that is not by - out of fear or misplaced respect - ignoring the symbols that divide. It is possible to laud tolerance while criticizing those (flag-wavers?) who undermine it.
Montreuil is to witness an area forming a modern and distinctive French identity, an area of low-to-middle incomes, of diverse cultures, and of conspicuous political organisation. It is also home to a growing Muslim community, owing in part to its significant Malian population. It is to areas such as Montreuil that the French ban on the face veil, introduced in April 2011, has directed itself most vigorously...
t's interesting to see the rise in male and female journalists indulging in burka cosplay as part of investigative journalism, which brings a new meaning to the term undercover journalism. At the risk of being accused of paralipsis, I don't want to enter the currently framed niqab debates fully - one key reason being that I believe males should tread carefully when commenting on female issues. But I do want to use the niqab to open up discussions that consider a wider phenomenon, which is driving the quest for cultural authenticity.
As a white University Lecturer, I must admit that when Burquared students first started appearing in the lecture theatre, I was alarmed. How, I wondered, could I teach students whose faces were not visible?... A couple years on, I can now safely say that you get used to students whose faces are obscured.
Amazed by the amount of blog posts about the potential ban on my Twitter feed today, I felt obliged to give into peer pressure and also write an opinion piece on it. However, I soon came to realise that many of these articles offered unsubstantiated points of view, had a predisposed bias for one side of the argument and failed to recognise the complexities and sensitivities surrounding the issue.