Closing the week 39 – Featuring the 'burqa debates' in Europe

Most popular on Closer last week

  1. Minister Donner as Mufti: New Developments in the Dutch ‘burqa debates’ by Annelies Moors
  2. Protest tegen mogelijk verbod gezichtssluiers
  3. ‘Burqa ban’ in Europe
  4. Veil, For A Change

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Europe in general
Religion and Law Consortium: Religlaw Index

Europe’s Banning of the Full-Face Veil – Ongoing News and Opinions

France’s burqa ban: women are ‘effectively under house arrest’ | World news | The Guardian

Since France introduced its burqa ban in April there have been violent attacks on women wearing the niqab and, this week, the first fines could be handed down. But a legal challenge to this hard line may yet expose the French state as a laughing stock

France starts ban on full-face veil, factbox on veils in Europe | FaithWorld

Below is a Factbox on government policies on full face veils in some other European countries:

Zeina : Under My Niqab. Are Full-Face Veils Really Unforced? | Cattiva’s Closet

Zeina went into hiding and was terrified. She knew very well that her husband had started hunting for her. The confrontation with the mirror was shocking. “Suddenly I saw myself again without a niqab, I looked like a ghost.” The book with her story will be published soon. It is not a plea against Islam. “I did not write this book against Islam, but for Islam, because Muslims can also be religious without waring the niqab,” she concludes.

How should we fight for the rights of muslim women in Europe. Should the full-face veils be banned in all Europe and not only in France?

Europeans Debate the Scarf and the Veil – Pew Research Center

Except in France, most Muslim women choose to cover their heads — but many among the general public disapprove

BBC News – The Islamic veil across Europe

Countries across Europe have wrestled with the issue of the Muslim veil – in various forms such as the body-covering burka and the niqab, which covers the face apart from the eyes.

The debate takes in religious freedom, female equality, secular traditions and even fears of terrorism.

The veil issue is part of a wider debate about multiculturalism in Europe, as many politicians argue that there needs to be a greater effort to assimilate ethnic and religious minorities.

Burqu’ing freedom: the danger of ‘moral civilizing’ | Islam, Muslims, and an Anthropologist

Many have been the opinions over whether the niqab or burqa are an Islamic requirement, innovation, or just one of numerous other styles of veiling. Al-Qaradawi has suggested that niqab is neither a requirement nor an innovation. In other words,it is a style within the tradition of Muslim dress. In another post I have discussed how increasingly, Muslim women, both by non-Muslims as well as Muslims, have been reduced to the ‘material culture’ of their dress styles. In this case, I wish to observe another aspect of the ‘war on burqa’.

Essay: Burqa ban. Banning the Islamic face veils or not, that has been an intense debated subject and was widely argued in various places especially in Europe such as Italy, Spain, France.

Burqa ban. Banning the Islamic face veils or not, that has been an intense debated subject and was widely argued in various places especially in Europe such as Italy, Spain, France.

Dutch burqa ban and French street-prayer ban shows Islamophobia rife in European politics

The Daily Telegraph has today reported on two developments in Europe which demonstrate how anti-Muslim discourse has found its way into national legislation in European countries.

Europe’s Muslims: burqa laws, women’s lives | openDemocracy

Several European states – France, Italy, Belgium and Britain among them – are involved in legal, social or political disputes over the dress-codes of Muslim women. A detailed and alert survey of the variegated experiences and attitudes involved is the best way to understand a complex issue, says Sara Silvestri.

France’s Burqa Ban: Two Women Fined for Covering Faces – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International

The new “burqa ban” in France has produced its first trial and convictions: Two women who staged a protest in May will have to pay fines. One defendant on Thursday promised to bring her case before the European Court of Human Rights.

Letters: Wearing the burqa in a secular society | World news | The Guardian

Another article about the baffling French ban on the niqab (The battle for the burqa, G2, 20 September), where the facts are repeated but little insight is gained. The paragraph where a niqab wearer says she can relate to Jewish women who were vilified in Vichy France made me begin to doubt the wearer’s motivation. Jews’ persecution in the second world war is a poor example here. If the Jewish women could have torn off their yellow stars and slipped into the masses to survive and not be killed, they would have done it in a flash. Most Jews have integrated into the societies they have come to live in. No one in this article gives a reason for wanting to cover their faces more than having a job or says what their friendships with non-Muslims are like. That is the truly interesting article to be written.

BBC News – Belgian lawmakers pass burka ban

Belgium’s lower house of parliament has voted for a law that would ban women from wearing the full Islamic face veil in public.

French businessman pays Belgian face veil fines | Reuters

A French businessman paid fines Wednesday for two women in Belgium who wore full-face veils in public and said he would take Belgium and France to court over laws banning Muslim niqabs and burqas.

French businessman pays Belgian face veil fines | Reuters

A French businessman paid fines Wednesday for two women in Belgium who wore full-face veils in public and said he would take Belgium and France to court over laws banning Muslim niqabs and burqas.

No face veils, Italy tells immigrants –

ROME – Women in Italy should not wear veils that cover their face, according to new government guidelines for immigrants that were drawn up in consultation with representatives of the main faiths, including Muslims.

Muslim Woman in Italy Is Fined for Wearing Veil –

A 26-year-old Tunisian woman has been fined for wearing a face veil while walking to a mosque in northern Italy, adding to the growing debate on the integration of Muslim minorities in Europe.

BBC News – Italian committee approves face veil ban bill

An Italian parliamentary committee has passed a draft law which will ban women from wearing veils which cover their faces in public.

The Netherlands
Netherlands moves toward total ban on Muslim veils | World news | The Guardian

The Netherlands may become the first European country to ban Muslim face veils after its government pledged yesterday to outlaw the wearing in public spaces of the niqab, or veil, and the burka, or full-length cloak covering the head.

Dutch to Ban Full-Face Veils –

The Dutch government said Friday that it would ban face-covering veils worn by some Muslim women because the garments flout the Dutch way of life and culture.

French businessman pays Belgian face veil fines | Radio Netherlands Worldwide

A French businessman paid fines on Wednesday for two women in Belgium who wore full-face veils in public and said he would take Belgium and France to court over laws banning Muslim niqabs and burqas.

Denmark urges rules limiting face veil

Denmark’s government says face-covering Muslim veils don’t belong in Danish society but no ban is needed because their use can be limited under existing rules.

The centre-right government said the burqa – an all-covering dress – and the niqab face veil are “diametrically opposed” to the values on which Danish society is built.

Right click: Burqa Ban ‘Un-democratic’: Danish Muslims

“It is important to let the Muslim population know that when they have fled dictatorship in their home country – or perhaps just left their country for work purposes – they will not encounter a new dictatorship or aspects of it in the Western democracies based on religious views,” Imran Shah, the spokesperson of the Islamic Society in Denmark, told The Copenhagen Post on Wednesday, April 13.

Spanish town bans Burka in public buildings – Telegraph

The Spanish town of Lerida has become the first in the country to ban the Burka in municipal buildings.

Spain Plans to Ban the Face Veil under New “Religious Freedom Law” | IslamToday – English

Spain’s government plans to ban the use of the face veils in public places under a proposed new law on religious freedom, the justice minister Francisco Caamano (pictured) said Tuesday.

“We believe that there are things like the burqa which are hard to reconcile with human dignity and which especially pose problems of identification in public places,” Caamano told reporters.

Veil Ban Upheld In Spain

Spanish courts recently upheld a ban on face coverings in municipal buildings.

The ban went into effect in 2010 but was suspended after Muslim rights groups complained.

Lleida was the first Spanish town to enact the ban.

Islamic countries and the veil: It’s a cover-up | The Economist

AS DEBATE over the burqa heats up in Europe, across the Mediterranean Arabs are looking on with puzzlement and, at times, concern. In Morocco and Algeria, source of most of the Muslim immigration to countries like Spain and France in recent decades, interest has been particularly high. People in these countries, who have seen Europeans tighten immigration laws and embark on public debates over “national identity” in recent years, perceive European plans to ban the veil as springing from nativist sentiment and immigration fears rather than security concerns or women’s rights.

AFP: Bikinis and hijabs contrast on Albanian beach

September has seen devout Muslims again flocking to Albania’s only “burqa beach” after the Ramadan holy month, where women bathe in full hijab — a short distance from the “other” Albania where girls romp in scanty bikinis.

Tariq Ramadan on PressTV: What is Italy aiming to achieve from banning the burqa?

What is Italy aiming to achieve from banning… door presstv
John R. Bowen, anthropologist, author of ‘Can Islam be French?’ – FRANCE 24

Annette Young meets John R. Bowen, anthropologist and author of “Can Islam be French?” Islam is the second most widely practised religion in France, but how do Muslims live their religion in a country which is known for its fierce secularism?

Just the Face — IndieGoGo

The film will show first hand how these women are coping with this law, and what happens when they can’t. Will they fight or subvert the law, will they withdraw into their homes or simply find ways to adapt?

‘Star of the Niqab’ Kenza Drider is a high profile activist and media critic of the ban; Nelly Moussaid is a Karate World Champion; Karima is a talented fashion designer running a successful company; Laurence is an ex-punk, and Fatima is a housewife and mother. Their stories will give us an insight into the daily lives of people who are directly affected by the ban.


Women’s voices
Why Quakers were the burqa wearers of the 17th century | Sarah Apetrei | Comment is free |

In 1630, a certain oatmeal maker was examined by the highest church court in England, accused of preaching without a licence. Before an audience of bishops, he kept his hat firmly on his head. Doffing it momentarily to a secular representative, he turned again to the bishops, crying: “But as ye are rags of the Beast, lo! – I put it on again.” Refusal to observe “hat honour” – the custom of removing one’s headgear in the presence of a social superior – was a way of saying, in the most confrontational manner: “I reject your authority.” (In the case of the oatmeal maker, this was an especially radical rejection: the bishops were agents of Antichrist.) It was a gender-specific affront, since hat-doffing was a peculiarly masculine form of humiliation.

Hat dishonour and burqa-wearing are not, of course, the same thing at all. But they do both illustrate the symbolic power of head-covering, and its relationship to political “headship”. Twenty years or so after the case of the oatmeal maker, following civil war and the collapse of traditional pillars of social stability (the monarchy, and the church courts), the early Quakers also famously rejected hat honour.

Legal showdown looms over French face veil ban – Monsters and Critics

A legal showdown loomed Thursday over France’s ban on the Islamic face veil, after a court fined two women for refusing to comply with the ban, paving the way for constitutional challenges to the new law.

Entrepreneurial Muslim women make modest dress mainstream | Culture & Lifestyle | Deutsche Welle | 29.05.2011

Fashion-conscious young Muslim women are well aware that in western societies, covering up is often considered more scandalous than baring all.

Burqa-Clad Pole Dancer Leaves Saudi Islamists Hot And Bothered | EuropeNews

A British fitness instructor who visited the strict Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia to teach a Saudi woman the art of pole dancing has sparked disapproval among UK Muslims back home. 27-year-old Lucy Misch was invited to the country by one of Saudi’s richest and most influential families after a woman from the family attended a pole dancing class in Europe and reported back to her relatives living in the kingdom.

Beyond the veil: an experiment with the burqa – The National

The shock factor is intentional. To confront, to challenge. Picture it: a room full of German students at a university in the heart of Berlin, their chatter filling the air in the rat-a-tat-tat intonation of a language infused with order. The seating is atypical, students piled onto desks, sprawled out over every inch of available floor space, lining the walls with martial precision. But the space demands such disarray: it is too small for the numbers.

Then the shock: three figures float into the room, covered from head to toe. Three ghosts rippling into a German classroom, dressed in burqas, anonymous and unsettling. The chatter suddenly dies, and tension pervades the calm that descends

‘Een boerkaverbod zal niets uithalen’ – POLITIEK – PAROOL

Fouad Sidali, tot 2010 stadsdeelbestuurder in Amsterdam-Bos en Lommer, is lid van het landelijk PvdA-bestuur. Hij baart opzien door zijn Twitterfoto waarop hij met nikab is te zien.

Het boerkaverbod is luxewetgeving – Opinie – TROUW

opinie Al bijna tien jaar worstelen opeenvolgende kabinetten met het boerkaverbod. Ook nu is het nog symboolpolitiek.

150 boerka’s – Nieuws – TROUW

column Gemeten naar de hoeveelheid opiniebijdragen die het jongste boerkaverbod bekritiseren, zou je bijna denken dat we hier met een breed maatschappelijk debat te maken hebben.

Het boerkaverbod is een afleidingsmanoeuvre | DeJaap

Daar is het dan eindelijk. Het boerkaverbod! Samen met de caviapolitie een van de meest onnodige wetsvoorstellen van dit kabinet. Dat dit verbod er waarschijnlijk komt is al een schande, de timing is ook kwalijk. Het lijkt een doorzichtige poging van het kabinet om de aandacht af te leiden van alle echte problemen die er nu spelen.

Wiens vrijheid van godsdienst?

Zonder gelijkheid bestaat geen vrijheid. De overheid moet kunnen waarborgen dat al haar burgers gelijk worden behandeld. Op het moment dat gelijke rechten in het geding komen, moet de overheid ingrijpen. Daar mogen we als samenleving nooit iets op afdingen. Dit is de kern van een beschaafde democratie. De discussie en publieke opinie rondom het boerka-verbod heeft mij dan ook enorm verbaasd. Van links tot rechts wordt het recht om een boerka te dragen verdedigd. In een rechtsstaat zou een beperking van de vrijheid van godsdienst niet passen. Maar juist een rechtstaat moet de grenzen van deze vrijheid bewaken. Zeker als onder het mom van vrijheid van godsdienst individuen onderdrukt en volledig geïsoleerd worden van de rest van de samenleving.

Interview: Boerka’s in en uit de carnavalswinkel |

Boerka’s worden verboden op straat. Waarom? Omdat het kabinet dat niet wil, punt! Wat mag nog wel dan? Carnavalskleding! Of het nou een piratenpak is, een politie-uniform of een… jawel… boerka! Althans, dat vond online carnavalswinkel Feestkleding 365. “Feestkleding 365 staat voor ‘elke dag een feestje!’. Maar ook voor ‘ieder zijn eigen feestje’.” Wat een rare snuiters dachten we. Wat bezielde hen? En als het zo’n succes is, waarom er dan mee gestopt? Ik heb het hen gevraagd.

Boerkaverbod: Boete voor mannen is prima! |

Ok, prima! Er is een boerkaverbod. Als je je nu in het openbaar vertoont in gezichtsbedekkende kledij – ik ben bereid het officiele verhaal aan te houden – dan krijg je 150 euro boete. Want dat mag niet. Blijk je een man te hebben die je daartoe dwingt – we doen even alsof deze wet nog steeds niet specifiek op moslima’s is gericht – dan is de boete veel hoger of je krijgt twee jaar cel.

Boerka verbod is een aanval op Islam en onderdrukking van de moslim vrouw « Islam4Europe

Het verbod op de boerka heeft dus niets te doen met veiligheid noch open samenleving noch met gelijkwaardigheid van man en vrouw. Maar is eerder een openlijke vijandschap en onderdrukking van de moslimvrouw.

Okay Pala

Lidvertegenwoordiger van Hizb ut Tahrir Nederland

‘Boerkaverbod is gebaseerd op onderbuikgevoelens, niet op feiten’ – Binnenland – VK

Hoewel ze zelf niet van de boerka als kledingstuk is gecharmeerd, slaat een verbod erop nergens op, betoogt Ferdows Kazemi. Symboolpolitiek, gebaseerd op niets anders dan onderbuikgevoelens.

Gunt de boerkadraagster mij wel mijn vrijheid? – Religie – TROUW

Ik ben best bereid om de boerkadraagster haar vrijheid te gunnen om haar godsdienst op haar manier te beleven. Waar ik echter huiverig voor ben, is de gedachte dat dat niet wederzijds is. Als er meer boerkadragers komen, is het niet ondenkbaar dat het mijn ontwikkeling zou kunnen tegengaan. Vooral liberale moslims kunnen hiervan de dupe worden. Door de boerka wordt namelijk de boodschap verspreid: hoe bedekter, hoe dichter bij Allah. Ik draag geen boerka, geen nikaab, ook geen hoofddoek maar ben wel moslim.

Desondanks ben ik soms niet zo blij met het boerkaverbod. Een verbod dat de vrijheid van een individu beperkt, is niet wezenlijk anders dan de praktijk in totalitaire ideologieën.

Echte liberalen verbieden de boerka – Weblog: Thijs Kleinpaste

Critici die zo’n verbod een botte maatregel noemen die ook vrouwen treft die wel blij zijn met hun boerka hebben gelijk. Het zij zo. Als we ons in dit debat, waar harde cijfers ontbreken, moeten bedienen van aannames, dan kies ik voor de stelling dat de boerka een gevaar is voor de vrijheid en individualiteit van vrouwen. De macht van mannen mag niet langer verdedigd worden met een beroep op misvattingen over datzelfde, schitterende principe. Mannen die zelf geen stuiver over hebben voor de vrijheid van hun eigen vrouw zijn er te lang door beschermd.

De loze argumenten tegen het nikaabverbod «

Tot dusver kwam ik deze tekenen van vrouwenslavernij vooral tegen in Amsterdamse wijken als Osdorp en Indische Buurt, gebieden waar moslimvrouwen hoe dan ook onder sociale druk van conservatieve geloofsgenoten staan. Deze vrouwen mogen straks niet meer buiten, is een ander argument tegen een beperking van de nikaabs. De goedpraters ondermijnen daarmee een ander veelgebruikt argument, namelijk dat de betrokken vrouwen zich uit vrije wil van hun gezicht en identiteit laten beroven. » Het hokje van de echte liberaal

De werkelijkheid is altijd weerbarstiger dan we als beleidsmakers en politici zouden willen. In dit verband wil ik graag citeren uit het onderzoeksrapport naar mensenhandel in de Amsterdamse raamprostitutie dat ik op dit moment aan het bestuderen ben: “de vrouw blijft volhouden dat ze niet is uitgebuit en houdt ook na de aanhouding van haar vriend contact met hem. De verdachte wordt veroordeeld.”

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