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.