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Lifting the Veil

A judge in the UK has ruled that a Muslim woman can stand trial wearing the niqab, but must remove it when giving evidence. Following the ruling Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, praised the judge for his "sensitivity and clarity", while Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society condemned the decision, saying "We will be complaining to the Office of Judicial Complaints and...asking senior legal officers to make visibility throughout court hearings mandatory". [more inside]
posted by billiebee on Sep 17, 2013 - 26 comments

It is no great shame for an artist to be taken for a man of the wider world.

He is unknown. No name, no profession, no identifying details, but he looks out with the calm sternness of one who knows his place in the world. And because of this calmness, this sternness—the skeptical gaze and tight lips—we suspect it might be an image of the artist himself. Why Is This Man Wearing A Turban?, by Teju Cole.
posted by timshel on Jul 21, 2012 - 20 comments

"We'll do to you what we did to the Jews."

Just over five months after the ban came into force, the Guardian reports on the impact of France's so-called burqa ban on niqab-wearing women.
posted by hoyland on Sep 19, 2011 - 194 comments

Mocking the Burqa Ban in France

Les Niqabitches stroll around Paris fully veiled from the waist up, but in hotpants and high heels waist-down, to protest the burqa ban in France. Also calling themselves Mi-putes, Mi-soumises, a pun on the admirable organization called Ni-putes, Ni-soumises, they believe the ban is unconstitutional, as calls for similar bans occur in other European countries.
posted by Azaadistani on Oct 5, 2010 - 96 comments

Symbolizing the Threat with Women's Clothes

Recent troubles with Muslim women's clothes have lead to the Quebec Government to begin proposing legislation on the issue of face covering and access to public services. The niqab has become a central symbol in the anti-muslim rhetoric of nationalist parties in Europe (political poster examples: France, Switzerland, and Britain) about the threat Islam poses to tolerant secular societies. [more inside]
posted by ServSci on Mar 30, 2010 - 153 comments

muslim women talk about the headscarf

The Big Cover-Up: "Where once the sight of a fully hidden woman was restricted to a few traditionalist communities, nowadays it is not unusual to see the niqab on high streets throughout the major cities of England and in a number of smaller towns. Just a decade ago, this form of enshrouding was seen as an unambiguous sign of female oppression and feudal custom, but now it is frequently referred to as an expression of religious identity, individual rights and even, in some cases, female emancipation."
Veil: The view from the inside: "I was in the same Metro carriage as a nun and I smiled at our similarity of dress. Hers was the symbol of her devotion to God, as is that of a Muslimah. I often wonder why people say nothing about the veil of the Catholic nun but criticize vehemently the veil of a Muslimah, regarding it as a symbol of` 'terrorism' and 'oppression.'"
Politics of the veil: "Before I wore a headscarf I always slumped with my head looking down; now I walk straight and I look up at people. It's not that they accept me more than they did before, it's just that I don't care anymore how they regard me."
(Europe's Burqa Wars, Niqabs in the Classroom?)
posted by heatherann on Nov 21, 2005 - 213 comments

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