Let's be clear: wearing a niqab is not regarded as a religious requirement by the vast majority of Muslims. Even in President Rouhani's Iran, women do not cover their faces. It is a cultural tradition with its origins in the Arabian peninsula, exported by preachers who follow the teachings of wahhabism.
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.
Intolerance breeds intolerance and laws that allow bigotry and racism as though they were a part and parcel of society are exactly the thing that encourages such attitudes. When we look at injustices far and wide it's so easy to express distaste but we must look closer to home and deal with the injustices and attitudes that are being imposed.
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...
In trying to figure out whether the women depicted in the video are cool or whether cool is degrading/objectifying the Muslim female identity, we're clearly in a spin this week.
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.
Instead of talking about or for Muslim women, our research puts the voices of Muslim women front and centre: to give voice to their silent and overlooked stories of discrimination, bigotry and hate, stories that for many are far too real aspects of their everyday lives. More real that is than the newspaper headlines asking whether to ban or not ban the 'burqa'.
The news that a terror suspect, Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, had slipped past surveillance because he was wearing a burka has continued to make headline news. The media clearly has a love-hate relationship with the burka which some people would argue is based more on hate and is evident in the manner in which this story was reported.
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.