Islamic dress in Europe
Islamic dress in Europe, especially the variety of headdresses worn by Muslim women, has become a prominent symbol of the presence of Islam in western Europe. In several countries, the adherence to hijab (an Arabic noun meaning "to cover") has led to political controversies and proposals for a legal ban. Some countries already have laws banning the wearing of masks in public, which can be applied to veils that conceal the face. Other countries are debating similar legislation, or have more limited prohibitions. Some of them apply only to face-covering clothing such as the burqa, boushiya, or niqab; some apply to any clothing with an Islamic religious symbolism such as the khimar, a type of headscarf. The issue has different names in different countries, and "the veil" or hijab may be used as general terms for the debate, representing more than just the veil itself, or the concept of modesty embodied in hijab.
Although the Balkans and Eastern Europe have indigenous Muslim populations, most Muslims in western Europe are members of immigrant communities. The issue of Islamic dress is linked with issues of immigration and the position of Islam in western society. In November 2006, European Commissioner Franco Frattini said that he did not favour a ban on the burqa. This is apparently the first official statement on the issue of prohibition of Islamic dress from the European Commission, the executive of the European Union. The reasons given for prohibition vary. Legal bans on face-covering clothing are often justified on security grounds, as an anti-terrorism measure.
in 2006, British Prime Minister Tony Blair described it as a "mark of separation". Visible symbols of a non-Christian culture conflict with the national identity in European states, which assumes a shared culture. Proposals for a ban may be linked to other related cultural prohibitions as Dutch politician Geert Wilders proposed a ban on hijabs, in Islamic schools, in new mosques, and in non-western immigration.
In France and Turkey, the emphasis is on the secular nature of the state, and the symbolic nature of the Islamic dress, and bans apply at state institutions (courts, civil service) and in state-funded education (in France, while the law forbidding the veil applies to students attending publicly funded primary schools and high schools, it does not refer to universities; applicable legislation grants them freedom of expression as long as public order is preserved). These bans also cover Islamic headscarves, which in some other countries are seen as less controversial, although law court staff in the Netherlands are also forbidden to wear Islamic headscarves on grounds of state neutrality. An apparently less politicised argument is that in specific professions (teaching), a ban on "veils" (niqab) is justified since face-to-face communication and eye contact is required. This argument has featured prominently in judgements in Britain and the Netherlands, after students or teachers were banned from wearing face-covering clothing. Public and political response to such prohibition proposals is complex since by definition they mean that the government decides on individual clothing. Some non-Muslims, who would not be affected by a ban, see it as an issue of civil liberties as a slippery slope leading to further restrictions on private life. A public opinion poll in London showed that 75 percent of Londoners support "the right of all persons to dress in accordance with their religious beliefs". In a more recent poll in the United Kingdom by Pew Research Center, 62% said they would approve of a ban on full veils (covering everything but the eyes). The same poll showed support by majorities in France (82%), Germany (71%) and Spain (59%)
The 2010 French law against covering the face in public, known as the "Burqa ban", was challenged and taken to the European Court of Human Rights which upheld the law on 1 July 2014, accepting the argument of the French government that the law was based on "a certain idea of living together".
Employers in the EU may restrict the wearing of religious symbos if such regulations on appearance are applied in a consistent manner, according to a ruling by the European Court of Justice in a case involving two Belgian women. The two women in the ECJ case were supported by the Open Society Justice Initiative, a group backed by financier George Soros.
- 1 Perspectives
- 2 See also
- 3 Notes and references
- 4 External links
The reasons given for prohibition vary. Legal bans on face-covering clothing are often justified on security grounds, as an anti-terrorism measure. However, the public controversy is wider, and may be indicative of polarisation between Muslims and western European societies.
For some critics, Islamic dress is an issue of value conflicts and the clash of civilizations. These critics—prominent among them is Ayaan Hirsi Ali—see Islam as incompatible with Western values, at least in its present form. They advocate the values of Enlightenment liberalism, including secularism and equality of women. For them, the burqa or chador are both a symbol of religious obscurantism and the oppression of women. In their view, Western Enlightenment values require prohibition, regardless of whether a woman has freely chosen Islamic dress. A more extreme related view is that freely chosen Islamic dress is a declaration of allegiance to radical Islamism, and the wearers are enemies of western society, if not terrorists.
The ban on the veil in Albania occurred progressively in the past, with the aim to "Europeanize" Islam, supposing a constant negotiation between religion and the state in which Albanian political authorities and secularist intellectuals wanted to build a multi-denominational nation that would also suppose the devalorization of Islam among the elites.
Islamic reformism in Albania dates back to before World War I as a strategy to modernize Islam in relation to the West and as a reaction to the activities of Christian missionaries in religion and education, the political superiority of the West, and Western Imperialism. Therefore, the reform was focused on science, education, secularism and women, as a way of “modernizing” the Islam and make Albania more relevant in the European and global context, however there was not important progress until well after WWI.
After World War I, the post Ottoman Albania was populated by a 70% of Muslims, 20% Orthodox and 10% Catholics; and during the inter-war period, the state took decisive steps in order to secularize society and the educational system. Despite this Muslim majority, the Albanian leaders defined the state as afetar ("without religion"), with the aim to strengthen national feeling among a population that was divided between different religious groups.
After World War II, Albania was taken under the Communist regime, with Hoxha as the leader of the nation who prohibited any type of religion, claiming that religion divides the Albanian population. Albania was under Hoxha's dictatorship for nearly 5 decades, until the early 1990s, when it became a democratic state. However, the new democratic state has struggled and it is still very irregular, unstable and corrupt which makes it very difficult for Albania to join the European Union; but despite this fact, the Albanians are very tolerant toward other religions as a consequence of the constant ban on religion and being forced to coexist with other religious groups in order to unify the nation. As for today, the Albanian government has not currently enforced any laws that limit Muslim dress in public places, but school principals have the right to set standards for "appropriate clothing" that may include banning any public displays of religious symbols, including head scarves (hijab). The same situation is applied to most state and public institutions that do not allow wearing the hijab, and justify that decision by claiming that the secularity of the state must be maintained.
Austria became the latest European country to prohibit veils, banning full-face veils in early 2017. Austria’s ban comes from a deal to save coalition government. The ban prohibits full-face veils such as the niqab and burka in courts and schools. Austria is investigating the possibility of banning headscarves for women employed in public service. The ban is part the changes made by the ruling Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) and the center-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) to avoid the collapse of their coalition government which would force snap elections.
According to The Guardian, only 100 to 150 women are estimated to wear full-face veils in Austria. A government spokesman has said that the ban will apply to tourist destinations like ski resorts and the urban center of Vienna. Further, government officials say that civil servants in executive positions, such as judges and state prosecutors, should not wear clothing that represent their religious affiliation. The Austrian justice ministry, however, has distanced itself from the proposal, saying that guidelines are already in place for clothing in court.
Several Belgian municipalities have used municipal by-laws on face-covering clothing to ban public wearing of the niqab and burqa. The town of Maaseik was the first to implement a ban in October 2004. Khadija El Ouazzani, spouse of Belgian-born Khalid Bouloudo, considered by the Belgian authorities as the Belgian coordinator of the terrorist Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, was fined €75 in April 2005 under the by-law for wearing a burqa. In 2006, a local police court upheld the ban and the fine. According to mayor Jan Creemers (Flemish Christian Democrats), 5 or 6 women in Maaseik had "caused feelings of insecurity" by wearing a burqa, and he had received complaints about them. He personally warned the women to stop. After that, only El Ouazzani continued to wear the burqa, and the by-law was activated.
In late 2004, at Creemers request Marino Keulen, Flemish-Liberal interior minister in the Flemish government, created a standard prohibition for burqas, and sent it to all 308 municipalities in Flanders. The regulation states that persons on the public street and in public buildings must be identifiable at all times "to protect the social order, which allows a harmonious process of human activities". It prohibits covering the forehead, the cheeks, the eyes, the ears, the nose and the chin. Carnival, Sinterklaas, and Father Christmas are exempt. According to Keulen:
- As Minister for Integration I respect culture tradition and belief, but wearing a burqa has nothing to do with religious belief, but with traditional dress in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Besides, wearing a burqa has an intimidating effect, and it can not be tolerated that Muslim women are excluded from society because they are isolated behind their burqa, and can't communicate with the world around them.
All municipalities can choose if they want to adopt the regulation and six have done so. In August 2006, mayor Creemers called for a national ban. The anti-immigrant and separatist party Vlaams Belang, formerly Vlaams Blok, had earlier advocated a ban at Flemish level, and locally in Antwerp. Although Vlaams Belang is excluded from power in Antwerp, by a coalition of all other parties, the ban was adopted. It was first applied in 2005, when a woman was fined because only her eyes were visible.
On 31 March 2010 the Belgian Chamber Committee on the Interior unanimously approved legislation instating a nationwide ban on wearing the burqa in public. The proposal was accepted by the Chamber of Representatives on 27 April 2010 with only two abstentions from Flemish Socialist MPs. A law was finally voted by both federal parliamentary chambers on 28 April 2011, as the parliamentary process had been interrupted by elections in June 2010. One Flemish Green MP voted against, two French-speaking Green MPs abstained.
Amnesty International Brussels has criticized the proposed legislation, stating that it is "being presented as an act to combat discrimination against women, whereas it is an act of discrimination in itself". The BBC also estimate that "[o]nly around 30 women wear this kind of veil in Belgium, out of a Muslim population of around half a million".
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lawyers, prosecutors and others employed in judicial institutions can not wear the hijab to work. The ban applies to the "religious symbols" of all religions. Whether third parties, such as witnesses, will be permitted to participate in hearings while wearing it is determined on a case-by-case basis.
As Danish law banning the public wearing of a niqab or burka has taken effect on 1 August 2018.
Following an incident in which a burqa-clad journalist was able to pass unchecked through security at Copenhagen airport, the government stressed to the airports the need for passengers to show their faces.
In 2006, Asmaa Abdol-Hamid caused much debate when she hosted a TV show on DR2 wearing a hijab. The controversy continued the following year when she announced she would be running for parliament. Member of Parliament Søren Krarup, of the Danish People's Party, questioned whether wearing a hijab in parliament was constitutional and said the headscarf is a totalitarian symbol, comparable to the Nazi swastika or the communist hammer and sickle.
In April 2007, the Odense city council asked the Minister for Family and Consumer Affairs of Denmark to rule on a case in which a Muslim woman refused to remove her veil for her job as a family care worker. A majority in parliament was ready to give employers the right to ban Muslim niqab and burka veils for employees.
In May 2008, the Danish government decided that judges in courts should strive for religious and political neutrality, and that consequently they would no longer be allowed to wear visible religious symbols, including crucifixes, kippas and head scarves.
In autumn 2017, the Danish government adopted a law prohibiting people to wear "attire and clothing masking the face in such a way that it impairs recognizability". On May 31, 2018, the Danish parliament adopted the law.
In Estonia, the wearing of Islamic dress is currently permitted, but the Estonian Ministry of Justice is preparing a bill that would ban wearing a burqa or niqab in public spaces, such as state offices, schools and hospitals.
|Wikinews has related news: Sarkozy states burqa to be "not welcome" in France|
The 2004 French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools bans all clothing which constitutes an ostensible religious symbol from government-operated schools. It is typically justified as a measure to ensure the secularism and religious neutrality of the state – the principle of Laïcité. In December 2003, President Jacques Chirac supported a new law to explicitly forbid any "visible sign of religious affiliation", in the spirit of laïcité. The law was passed by the French parliament in March 2004.
The law forbids the wearing of any "ostensible" religious articles by students, but does not cite any item; yet, ministerial instructions appear to target the Islamic veil, the Jewish kippa, and large Christian crosses. Instructions permit discreet signs of faith, such as small crosses, Stars of David, and hands of Fatima. The law does not apply to parents or to students attending universities. However, teachers and other school personnel are also prohibited to display their religious affiliation on the basis of "public service neutrality". Similar policies are occasionally applied in other state organizations, such as personnel working in public hospitals.
The French controversy primarily relates to the Islamic veil as a symbol of religion that challenges Laïcité, or of female subservience, and only secondarily to practical factors such as face-to-face communication, or security risks. The 2004 law says nothing about the wearing of Islamic dress in public (on the street), nor about wearing religious signs in higher education or private education establishments.
In 2009, the issue has not receded with further calls by some government ministers for a more widespread enquiry on the implications of liberty, subservience and the veil with regards to public life.
The French National Assembly appointed 32 lawmakers from right and left-wing parties on a six-month fact-finding mission to look at ways of restricting its use. A imam Hassen Chalghoumi backed the ban and he was threatened. On 26 January 2010, the group delivered its report, which had been agreed by six votes to six (the chair's vote in favour being decisive) with twenty abstentions. The report says that women should not be allowed to wear the burqa when accessing public services.
In September 2010, it became illegal to wear face coverings unless specifically needed to perform a function. It is illegal to wear the burqa in public in France. Fines are 150 euro for women wearing it and 30,000 euro for men forcing their wives to wear it, with up to one year in prison. The law was passed in the Senate by 246 votes to 1. The first fine was issued on 22 September 2011.
The law was challenged and taken to the European Court of Human Rights which upheld the law on 1 July 2014, accepting the argument of the French government that the law was based on "a certain idea of living together".
Eight of Germany's 16 states contain restrictions on wearing the hijab by female teachers: first Baden-Württemberg, then Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony, the Saarland, Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia and Berlin. The city-state of Berlin banned all religious symbols in public institutions, including the Christian crucifix and the Jewish kippah.
Five of these states that ban religious clothing, contain an exception for Christian symbols and clothing: Baden-Württemberg, Saarland, Hesse, Bavaria, and North Rhine-Westphalia. In Baden-Württemberg, the state prohibits Muslim teachers from wearing the headscarf, but allows teachers to wear Christian clothing, such as the nun's habit. The state courts upheld an appeal against the ban by several Muslim teachers, on the grounds of religious discrimination, since Catholic nuns are allowed to teach in full religious habit. The state government has appealed the decision. The regulation in North Rhine-Westphalia is similar to that in Baden-Württemberg. Bavaria also allows the nun's habit, while banning the Muslim headscarf.
Education in Germany is the responsibility of the individual states, which each have their own education ministry. In September 2003, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) ruled that the states could ban the wearing of Islamic headscarves by female teachers, and that this would not infringe the constitutional protection of freedom of religion. However, a ban could only be implemented by a state law, and not by administrative decisions.
In one incident involving Islamic dress in Germany, two 18-year-old students, one Turkish and one Kurdish, appeared at a school in Bonn in a burqa; they were suspended for "disturbing the peace." The German Finance Minister cancelled a visit to the school, and the two were investigated by the intelligence service, who suspected them of contacts with the controversial King Fahd Academy in Bonn. The incident illustrates the sensitivity in Germany over Islamic dress, especially in schools. It led the Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries to call for nationwide standard school uniforms (itself a sensitive issue in Germany because of the association with the Nazi Hitler Youth and the East German Free German Youth).
- I fear that a headscarf ban will be the first step on the road to a laicistic state, which will prohibit religious signs and symbols in the public sphere. I don't want to see that happen. That is not my vision of our country, with its centuries of Christian influence.
In 2006, Ekin Deligöz, a Turkish-born woman parliamentarian, triggered an uproar by calling on fellow Turkish German women to take off their scarves as a way to show their willingness to integrate in German society.
Naime Çakir, a Muslim activist in Germany, raises other concerns related to headscarves in that banning them in fact increases discrimination of Muslim women and aggravates their integration into the modern society by making it harder for them to find a job and forcing them into an acute conflict between family and society, which places a much more disastrous burden on Muslim women than on Muslim men (see namus and "honor killing" articles). Naime states that for women, education and occupation are more important for emancipation than external attributes of clothing.
In 2017, a legal ban on face-covering clothing for soldiers and state workers during work were approved by German parliament. Also in 2017, a legal ban on face-covering clothing for car and truck drivers were approved by German Ministry of Traffic.
The Court of Justice of the European Union gave companies the right to justify headscarf bans by means of a neutrality policy. (ITA) In Italy, the proposals for bans reflect some of the general feelings of Europe while also revealing much of their own history. Immigration in the last two decades has introduced Islam as a second major religion in Italy. A country where the population is traditionally Catholic now has a Muslim presence of over one million people. The Islamic veil has become a national political issue, usually in combination with other Islam-related issues, such as new mosques, and the teaching of the Qur'an in schools. The anti-immigration and separatist Lega Nord has focused recent campaigns on prohibition of the burqa, although as with the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, the wider issue is immigration. Specifically, some mayors in the Anti-Immigrant Northern League has targeted banning the use of Islamic swimsuits.
After local anti-burqa campaigns, several municipalities imposed a ban, but these have been suspended by Regional Administrative Tribunals. The Regional Administrative Tribunal of Friuli-Venezia Giulia suppressed, for largely technical reasons, bans imposed by a municipal government. Beginning in 1975, Italy has had a national anti-terrorism law in place, outlawing any mask or article of clothing which makes it impossible to identify the wearer. An exception to this has been added to allow wearers with “just cause,” which can be seen as including face coverings for religious purposes. Use of the law 152/1975 which prohibits the use of motorcycle helmets to evade identification cannot be extended to cover the veil or burqa. The Italian Constitution gives citizens the right to wear religious dress through articles 8, 19, and 21. Lombardy banned facial veils for security reasons in government buildings and hospitals, in December 2015, coming into effect January 2016.
The Republic of Kosovo[a] declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Since then Kosovo has been accepted as a country by 112 other countries, with Serbia rejecting with their independence along with others such as Russia, China and Spain. The Kosovo government drafted the new Republic of Kosovo constitution in 2008. This constitution stipulates “equality of all individuals” and includes statutes that designate religious freedom, as well as freedom of expression. Only a year following the ratification of their constitution the government of Kosovo passed legislation that banned the wearing of headscarves in schools; On the basis of Kosovo being a secular country despite having a population of two million people, where 96% are Muslim.
The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology constructed this prohibition of Islamic headscarves. The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology received ample support within the government; When interviewed by Mark Lowen from BBC News, Kosovo's Deputy Foreign Minister, Vlora Citaku explained: "The scarf in Kosovo is not an element of our identity. It's a sign of submission of female to male, rather than a sign of choice. I don't think a 16 or 17-year-old, let alone a five-year-old, can take the conscious decision to wear a scarf".
In 2009, the headscarf ban was challenged by a young woman who claimed it was infringing upon her constitutional rights. The state court ruled against her under the pretense set by the European Court of Human Rights asserting “in order to reconcile the interests of the various groups and ensure that everyone’s beliefs are respected”. Despite protests and further challenges of the ban by the "Islamic-oriented Justice Party", the Islamic headscarf ban is prevailing.
A legal ban of face-covering Islamic clothing was adopted by the Latvian parliament. Latvia's president, Vejonis, stated that there was a security component involved when he came out officially supporting the ban. The country was at the time preparing to welcome 250 refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Vejonis stated in a public interview: "I don't want to somehow escalate the situation and raise the possible threat level in our region. It is my personal opinion on why I support the ban on the burqa".
Latvian Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnacs stated publicly just a few months later that the government was debating two versions of the ban: "The first is to ban wearing clothes covering face only in certain places, including the state or educational ones. The second is to ban wearing burqa in all public places. The second concept was finally approved". However, this time he made it clear that the ban had nothing to do with threats to public safety, but in fact to protect "Latvia’s cultural values, our common public and cultural space, and each individual".
In the Netherlands a minority of Muslim women wear a headscarf. About 30% of Turkish women in the Netherlands, and around half of the Moroccan-Dutch women cover their hair. The percentage of woman wearing headscarves in the Netherlands has decreased sharply over the last decades and shows a clear secularisation process; first generation Turkish migrants wear headscarves twice as often (40%) as the second generation (20%). Immigration and Integration minister Rita Verdonk announced in November 2006 that the Netherlands will introduce legislation to ban face-covering clothing in public. Although a ban was publicly debated earlier, the legislation results directly from a motion tabled in the Dutch House of Representatives by the anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders, calling upon the cabinet to introduce it. The cabinet proposals was delayed because of concerns about conflict with freedom of religion. The Third Balkenende cabinet thought that these issues are no longer an obstacle to legislation. The proposal was condemned by Muslim organisations.
In the November 2006 general election, Wilders' Party for Freedom won 9 seats (out of 150): a complete ban on the burqa and a ban Islamic headscarves in the civil service and schools is part of its platform, but all other parties refuse to include it in a coalition. A group of Muslim women organised a pro-burqa demonstration at the newly elected parliament in The Hague, on 30 November 2006. The demonstration attracted national media attention, despite having only 20 participants.
Following the 2006 election, the new cabinet has not taken a final decision on whether to introduce a ban, and gave conflicting signals. A February 2007 opinion poll indicated that 66 percent support a ban and 32 percent oppose it.
Malaysia protested against the proposed ban soon after it was announced in 2006. Foreign minister Syed Hamid Albar called it a discriminatory treatment of Muslims, and said it infringed freedom of choice. The Islamic headscarf tudung is a political issue in Malaysia itself. According to the UNHCHR, female students in Malaysia itself are pressured to wear the tudung, and it is compulsory for female shop workers in Kelantan, while Malaysian politicians have protested against its prohibition in public schools in Singapore for prepuber (6 and 7 years old) pupils. According to memo leaked to the Algemeen Dagblad, the Netherlands foreign ministry has warned of a possible controversy, similar to the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.
The proposed legislation in the Netherlands applies nationally. Earlier, schools and other institutions had enforced their own bans on Islamic dress, although usually not on the Islamic headscarf. Employers also have their own policies. Cases of dismissal or exclusion from school are sometimes handled by the Netherlands Equality Commission, creating de facto national guidelines on what constitutes discrimination. In Amsterdam, school policies attracted media attention after an incident in 2003. A higher vocational college, banned three students for wearing the niqab. One was removed by police when she tried to enter the school wearing the niqab: the school regulations are legally enforceable because unauthorised entry is trespass. The students appealed to the Equality Commission, which ruled (in March 2003) in favour of the school. The school justified the ban on the grounds that the niqab "hindered eye contact, which testifies to mutual respect". The Commission agreed with the school, indicating that the educational necessity of contact and communication within the school building overrode the religious-freedom aspects. The education minister, Maria van der Hoeven, of the Christian-Democratic party CDA, publicly approved the Commission decision. The Amsterdam CDA subsequently called for a national ban on chador, burqa and niqab in schools, partly on the grounds that they conflicted with common national values.
The cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht have proposed cutting social security benefit to unemployed women wearing a burqa, on the grounds that it makes them unemployable in a predominantly non-Muslim country.
The Dutch government parliament in January 2012 enacted a ban on face-covering clothing, popularly described as the "burqa ban". Offenders can be fined up to 390 euro. The prohibition does not apply to face covering that is necessary for the health, safety or the exercise of a profession or practicing a sport. Excluded from the ban are also events such as Sinterklaas, Carnival, Halloween or when a mayor granted an exemption for a particular event. Also excluded from prohibition are places and buildings intended for religious purposes. The prohibition does not apply to passengers in airplanes and airports who are traveling through the Netherlands to their final destination.
While there is currently no ban on Islamic dress in Norway, the issue has in later years been widely discussed. In March 2010, a ban on the burqa and niqab in public places was eventually proposed in the Norwegian Parliament by the Progress Party. Before the formal proposal was made, a ban had been supported by figures such as the Labour Party Spokesperson on Immigration Issues, Lise Christoffersen, as well as several individual politicians from both opposition and government parties. When the proposal was up for consideration in May, it was however rejected by all parties in the Justice Committee except for the Progress Party. Minister of Justice Knut Storberget had earlier claimed there to be a "great danger" that a general ban on "wholly covering clothing" could conflict with Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Per-Willy Amundsen of the Progress Party in response claimed that the government was increasingly "hiding themselves behind international conventions" in questions regarding immigration and integration, in order to avoid tougher political discussions that divided the government.
In autumn 2017, Norway government adopted a law prohibiting people to wear "attire and clothing masking the face in such a way that it impairs recognizability" in schools and in universities.
The Spanish resort Sa Pobla on the island of Mallorca has banned women from wearing burqas or face-covering Islamic veils in public places, even though only two women living there are known to do so. Mayor Biel Serra of the town of Sa Pobla said the vote was not about cultural or religious discrimination but rather an issue of public safety and people showing their faces so they can be identified. Sa Pobla joins a handful of other Spanish towns who have enacted some form of ban on body-covering burqas or face-covering niqabs.
In Sweden, the wearing of Islamic dress is permitted. Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt declared himself to be against a ban on veils in January 2010, saying "legislation shouldn't lead to certain women being isolated even more from Swedish society". Coalition partner Centre Party also declared being against a ban, describing the wearing of head-to-toe veils as "a rarely occurring problem" that is "not something that should be solved through legislation". Opposition leader Stefan Löfven rejected the idea of such a law as well.
According to an investigation of 3,000 cases of honor culture violence by newspaper Göteborgsposten, the Islamic veil is a frequent issue with girls who are forced to wear it and are beaten by family members if they refuse or take it off, most frequently with bare hands but also being beaten with belts or cables. In several cases, the children have been burned with kitchen utensils or metal objects.
By popular referendum approved by 66% of the voters in September 2013, the canton of Ticino prohibited to hide the face in a public area. While the Swiss proposal did not target Muslim women specifically, the referendum became known as the "anti-burka" initiative. The referendum was pushed by conservative campaigners and was criticized by Amnesty international. One of the supporters of the ban, Giorgio Ghiringhelli, said he wanted to put a stop to "the inevitable spread of niqabs and burkas".
Critics of the referendum say it is meaningless because there are very few Muslims in Ticino who wear burqas or niqabs. According to government estimations, officials say there are 400,000 Muslims in Switzerland and only 100 Muslim women wear burkas.
Ticino is not the first region of Switzerland to propose a ban on Islamic veils. Three other Swiss regions previously had proposals to ban burqas and niqabs but dismissed them, making Ticino the first of the country’s 26 cantons to pass such a ban. Due to the ban, Muslims face fines up to £8,000 for wearing burkas in Switzerland. The Swiss People's Party, the country's largest party, are attempting to collect enough signatures for a national referendum on its prohibition.
On October 2017, it was announced that after getting more than 100,000 signatures for a referendum that Switzerland will have an public vote within a year.
In January 2018, a newspaper poll indicated that 76% of Swiss voters would approve of a nationwide ban on face-coverings.
Turkey was a secular state founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923. Atatürk saw headscarves as backward-looking and an obstacle to his campaign to secularize and modernize the new Turkish Republic. The fez, worn by men, was banned. Kemalist ideology continues to emphasize secularism, despite the majority of Turks being Muslims.
Until the 1960s, female students or public servants wearing headscarves were not seen in Turkey. In 1968, a university student, Hatice Babacan, refused to remove her headscarf and from then onwards, although there was not a uniformly applied ban, some problems began to arise for students wearing headscarves at universities.
With the rise of the Islamic movement in Turkey in the 1970s and early 1980s, the number of university students wearing headscarves increased substantially and in 1984, the first widespread application of headscarf ban came into effect at the universities, but throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the ban was not uniformly enforced and many students were able to graduate, albeit with lots of difficulties, and begin their professional careers without compromising on their headscarves. After the so-called 28 February process in 1997, the ban on headscarves and other Islamic coverings were taken to such extremes that even some hospitals refused to care for patients wearing headscarves. The headscarf ban in public spaces, including schools and universities (public and private), courts of law, government offices and other official institutions, is only for students, workers and public servants. Hence, mothers of pupils or visitors have no problems at all entering the primary schools, but they would not be able to work as teachers. Similarly, at the courts of law, the ban only involves judges, attorneys, lawyers and other workers. Wearing headscarves in photos on official documents like licenses, passports, and university enrollment documents is prohibited.
In 1998, a Turkish student was banned for wearing a headscarf at Istanbul University. In 2000, Nuray Bezirgan, a Turkish student, wore a headscarf at her college final exams. A Turkish court sentenced her to six months jail for "obstructing the education of others". The European Court of Human Rights upheld the ban in 2004, saying the rules on dress were "necessary" and did not violate the European Convention on Human Rights. In October 2006, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the university ban again, rejecting a complaint filed by another Turkish university student.
In October 2006, Turkish president Ahmet Necdet Sezer refused to allow Justice and Development Party (AKP) politicians whose wives wear the headscarves, at a ball marking Turkish independence, saying it would "compromise" and undermine the secular state founded by Kemal Atatürk.
On 7 February 2008, the Turkish Parliament passed an amendment to the constitution, allowing women to wear the headscarf in Turkish universities, arguing that many women would not seek an education if they could not wear the hijab. The decision was met with powerful opposition and protests from secularists. On 5 June 2008, the Constitutional Court of Turkey reinstated the ban on constitutional grounds of the secularity of the state. Headscarves had become a focal point of the conflict between the ruling AKP party and the secularist establishment, which includes the courts, universities, and army. The ruling was widely seen as a victory for Turks who claim this maintains Turkey's separation of state and religion. After winning a referendum in September 2010, the ruling AKP vowed to support any student who was disciplined for wearing the headscarf on a university campus. Following this, the head of the Turkish Higher Educational council (YÖK), Yusuf Ziya Özcan, announced that instructors in universities may no longer take action against students wearing the headscarf. While this goes against the Constitutional Court ruling of 2008, most universities have started permitting students to wear the headscarf on campus.
Former Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor Jack Straw initiated a nationwide controversy on "the veil" by criticising its use in 2006. Straw said he would prefer to see no veils: "Yes. It needs to be made clear I am not talking about being proscriptive but with all the caveats, yes, I would rather".
In 2010, Jack Straw publicly apologised over his 2006 comments, stating "If I had realised the scale of publicity that they [his comments] received in October 2006, I wouldn't have made them and I am sorry that it has caused problems and I offer that apology."
The legal status of Islamic dress in schools was clarified by the R v Headteacher and Governors of Denbigh High School, ex p Begum, where the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords ruled that freedom to manifest religious beliefs was not absolute, and could be restricted. Conservative columnist Theodore Dalrymple, noting that Shabina Begum was represented by the Prime Minister's wife Cherie Blair, claims that the judgement was a political one, a concession to Muslim opinion offended by the campaign against Islamist terrorism.
In the Aishah Azmi case, an employment tribunal held that a school could refuse to employ a veiled teacher (wearing the niqab). Government ministers intervened in the employment tribunal case, supporting the school. This case provoked Prime Minister Tony Blair to comment that the veil was a "mark of separation", and minister Phil Woolas demanded that Azmi be sacked, accusing her of "denying the right of children to a full education". The school subsequently sacked her.
In another case, a lawyer dressed in a niqab was told by an immigration judge that she could not represent a client because, he said, he could not hear her.
- Hijab controversy in Quebec
- Islam and clothing
- Muslims in Western Europe
- Women in Muslim societies
Notes and references
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is recognized as an independent state by 104 out of 193 United Nations member states.|
- Reformatorisch dagblad: Brussel tegen boerkaverbod, 30 November 2006.
- "France moves one step closer to burqa ban". CNN. 19 May 2010.
- "Belgium Moves to Ban Burqa - Politics & Gov't - News - Arutz Sheva". Israelnationalnews.com. 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- Blair's concerns over face veils BBC News Online. 17 October 2006.
- "Education Code. L811-1 §2" (in French). Legifrance.gouv.fr. 1984-01-26. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- Guardian: Livingstone decries vilification of Islam, 20 November 2006.
- pewglobal.org .
- Willsher, Kim (1 July 2014). "France's burqa ban upheld by human rights court". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
- "A European government has banned Islamic face veils despite them being worn by just three women". 21 April 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
- Bulgaria the latest European country to ban the burqa and [niqab in public places, Smh.com.au: accessed 5 December 2016.
- "Reality Check: Did EU court ban Islamic headscarf at work?". BBC News. 2017-03-14. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
- Nathalie Clayer. BEHIND THE VEIL.The reform of Islam in Inter-war Albania or the search for a “modern” and “European” Islam. Nathalie Clayer and Eric Germain. Islam in Inter-War Europe, Hurst, pp.128-155, 2008. <halshs-00575956>
- Nathalie Clayer. Adapting Islam To Europe: The Albanian Example. Christian Voss et Jordanka Telbizova-Sack. Islam und Muslime in (Südost)Europa im Kontext von Transformation und EU-Erweiterung, Otto Sagner, pp.53-69, 2010, SLCCEE.
- Monika Palmberger. 2016. Fragments of Communicative Memory: World War II, Tito and the 1992–95 War. How Generations Remember, pages 51-90.
- Draper, S. (1997). The conceptualization of an Albanian nation. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 20(1), 123-144. doi:10.1080/01419870.1997.9993950
- Nielsen, Jørgen; Akgönül, Samim; Alibašić, Ahmet; Racius, Egdunas (2014-10-31). Yearbook of Muslims in Europe. BRILL. ISBN 9789004283053.
- Oltermann, Philip. "Austria to ban full-face veil in public." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 31 January 2017. Web. 23 April 2017.
- Welt.de: Österreich stellt Tragen von Burka und Nikab unter Strafe (German)
- BBC NEWS | Europe |Dutch MPs to decide on burqa ban.
- Elaine Sciolino and Hélène Fouquet, Terrorists in Europe find base in Belgium, New York Times, 10 October 2005
- "De zesde vrouw, El Ouazzani, bleef na de invoering van het verbod een burka dragen.", in: Burka-verbod is succes in België, Algemeen Dagblad (Rotterdam), 20 November 2006.
- Mohamed Zainabi, "Belgique : La Marocaine qui veut imposer sa burqa", Le Reporter, 26 June 2006
- Het Belang van Limburg: Keulen stuurt modelreglement inzake boerka-verbod naar gemeenten, Het Belang van Limburg, 2 December 2004.
- VRT: "Nationaal verbod op dragen boerka", 10 August 2006.
- Vlaams Belang Antwerpen.
- VRT: Gesluierde vrouw krijgt boete in Antwerpen, 22 September 2005.
- Kamercommissie keurt verbod op dragen boerka's goed (in Dutch). De Morgen, 31 March 2010.
- Edward Cody. Belgian lawmakers vote to ban full-face veils in public. The Washington Post, 30 April 2010.
- "L’interdiction de la burqa est votée", Le Soir, 28 April 2011
- "BBC:Belgian lawmakers pass burka ban". BBC News. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- « La loi anti-burqa ? Expéditive et abusive », Le Soir, 30 April 2011
- DailyMail: Bulgaria bans the burqa: Women no longer allowed to wear veils after nationalist party pushed for law change amid fears of Islamic terrorism
- Burka-clad woman unchecked at airport, The Copenhagen Post.
- Hijab-clad Muslim TV Host Sparks Danish Furor Archived 26 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Headscarf in the House pledge Danes battle the veil, The Copenhagen Post, 26 April 2007.
- Broad MP support for careworker veil ban, The Copenhagen Post, 26 April 2007.
- Forbud mod religiøse symboler i retssale, Jyllands-Posten, 14 May 2008.
- Independent.co.uk: Denmark set to ban the burqa despite fears for religious freedom
- Express.co.uk: Denmark burka ban: Scandinavian country set to become latest to ban full-face veils
- "Justice ministry working on burqa ban". ERR. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- "France". Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Archived from the original on 6 February 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011. See drop-down essay on "Secular National Identity and the Growth of Islam"
- Religious Freedom for civil servants in France and Germany, Esther Esther Schmidt ENA p33
- France's hijab ban. CBC News.
- France bans immigrants wearing burqas in state language classes. USA Today.
- "LeParisien.fr". LeParisien.fr. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- LaParisien.fr (in French)
- "France sets up burka commission". BBC News. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- Paris imam backs France's proposed burqa ban Archived 30 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- France: Anti Veil Imam Under Attack, Mosque Stormed… Archived 1 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- 17 mai 2014 (2010-01-26). "Libération". Liberation.fr. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- "BBC". BBC News. 2010-01-26. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- Gauthier-Villars, David (15 September 2010). "Burqa ban is approved in France". The Wall Street Journal.
- ">"French senate approves burqa ban". CNN. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- Chrisafis, Angelique (22 September 2011). "Niqab women fined by French court". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- Zeit online/Tagesspiegel: Ländersache: Der ewige Streit um das Kopftuch, 31 October 2006.
- Haleh Chahrokh, Benjamin Ward. "Discrimination in the Name of Neutrality: State Bans on Religious Symbols in Public Employment". Human Rights Watch.
- Rheinische Post: Burka-Verbot – Türkinnen von Schule verwiesen, 29 April 2006; Spiegel: Schulausschluss wegen Burka : "Lehrer müssen Schülern ins Gesicht sehen" (28 April 2006); Verhüllte 18-Jährige : Schulverweis wegen Burka; Bonner Burka-Schülerinnen : Ministerium sagt Schulbesuch ab; Verhüllte Schülerinnen : Geheimdienste werten Burka als Provokation
- Religionsfreiheit heute – zum Verhältnis von Staat und Religion in Deutschland. Rede von Bundespräsident Johannes Rau zum 275 Geburtstag von Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, 22 January 2004.
- Netzeitung: Keine Burka hinterm Steuer, 14 June 2006.
- World Politics Watch: ''In Germany, Debate Over Muslim Headscarf Rages On, 29 November 2006.
- "The Islamic veil across Europe", BBC News.
- n-tv.de: Bundestag beschließt Sicherheitspaket
- WAZ.de: Verkehrsminister Dobrindt will offenbar Burka-Verbot im Auto
- Pastorelli, Sabrina; Ferrari, Alessandro (eds.). The Burqa Affair Across Europe.
- Pastorelli, Sabrina; Ferrari, Silvio (eds.). Religion in Public Spaces. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- "The Islamic veil across Europe". BBC News. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- La Padania: Salvini: «Nei comuni servono ordinanze contro il burqa».
- "Police Stop Muslim Woman Wearing Veil in Italy". BBC News. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- Tar Friuli Venezia Giulia. Sentenza n. 645 del 16 ottobre 2006; Federico Punzi at Opinione.it: Velo, cavallo di Troia dell’Islam radicale in Europa, 3 November 2006.
- Cowburn, Ashley (13 December 2015). "Lombardy in Italy bans burqas and Islamic veils following European terror attacks". The Independent. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Retrieved 2017-04-19.
- Perkins, Theresa (2012). ""Unveiling Muslim Women: The Constitutionality of Hijab Restrictions in Turkey, Tunisia and Kosovo."". Boston University International Law Journal. 30.2: 529–564.
- "A Growing Split Between Islamic, Secular Identities In Kosovo". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2017-04-19.
- United States. Congress. House. The 2011 International Religious Freedom Report: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First Session, November 17, 2011. Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 2011.
- Lowen, Mark (2010-08-24). "Headscarf ban sparks debate over Kosovo's identity". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-04-19.
- "Kosovo Muslims Protest Head Scarf Ban". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2017-04-19.
- Independent: Islamic face veil to be banned in Latvia despite being worn by just three women in entire country
- "AP Interview: Latvian President Supports Banning Burqa Ahead of Refugees' Arrival". Fox News. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Latvia to Introduce Burqa Ban". The Baltic Times. 19 January 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- Muslims in the Netherlands SCP, 2012
- Al-Jazeera: Netherlands moves to ban burqa, 17 November 2006; Der Spiegel: Niederlande wollen Burka verbieten, 17 November 2006; BBC: Dutch government backs burqa ban, 17 November 2006.
- Wilders' Party for Freedom advocates a 5-year moratorium on all non-western immigration.
- BBC: Dutch Muslims condemn burqa ban, 18 November 2006.
- IHT: Muslim women protest outside Dutch parliament against burqa ban, 30 November 2006; Weinig demonstranten in Den Haag; De Volkskrant, 25 November 2006. Moslima’s betogen voor recht op boerka. Text of manifesto.
- Expatica: Kamp predicts row over burqa ban, 23 February 2007. Boerka op straat moet kunnen, 22 February 2007. Verontwaardiging over boerka-uitspraak Vogelaar, 23 February 2007.
- Nederlanders voor boerkaverbod, 24 February 2007. percent27Nederlanders_voor_boerkaverbod-percent27.html NU.nl
- "Minorities and the state in Malaysia and Singapore: Provisions, Predicaments and Prospects". UNHCHR.
- Muslim girls suspended for headscarves, CNN, 4 February 2002
- Algemeen Dagblad: Woede moslims dreigt, 20 November 2006
- "Website in English". Cgb.nl. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- CGB: school mag gezichtssluier verbieden Archived 3 January 2004 at the Wayback Machine.
- CDA wil algeheel verbod op sluier in de klas Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Spiegel International: Amsterdam Mulls Axing Dole for Women in Burqas, 21 April 2006, Amsterdam Mulls Axing Dole for Women in Burqas
- (in Dutch) Kabinet akkoord met verbod gelaatsbedekkende kleding, Rijksoverheid. Retrieved 5 June 2012
- Lande, David (4 March 2010). "Vil fjerne burkaen fra det offentlige rom". frp.no.
- "Ap støtter Frps burka-forbud". Aftenposten. 20 February 2010.
- Hornburg, Thomas Boe (24 April 2010). "Burka-forbud ikke aktuelt". Aftenposten.
- Skevik, Erlend (11 May 2010). "Stortinget sier nei til burka-forbud". VG Nett.
- DailyMail.co.uk: Norway proposes burka ban in schools and universities as immigration minister claims 'the ability to communicate is a basic Nordic value
- "Spain rejects proposal to ban burqa". ArabNews. 21 July 2010. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- "Burqa ban passes French lower house overwhelmingly". CNN.com. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- "Reinfeldt: no burqa ban in Sweden". The Local Sweden. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "GP AVSLÖJAR: 527 unga offer för hedern". Göteborgs-Posten (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-12-25.
- Squires, Nick (23 September 2013). "Burkas and niqabs banned from Swiss canton". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Samuel Jaberg (2013-09-25). "Direct democracy: Ticino burka vote could spawn others". swissinfo.ch. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- Agerholm, Harriet. "Muslims face fines up to £8,000 for wearing burkas in Switzerland." The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 7 July 2016. Web. 23 April 2017.
- Singh, K. Gajendra. Ban on headscarves and Turkey Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Turkish Daily News. 21 September 2004.
- Strasbourg court's ruling upholds headscarf ban Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Turkish Daily News. 17 October 2006.
- Turkey in veil controversy Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Asia News. 30 October 2006.
- Ayman, Zehra; Knickmeyer, Ellen. Ban on Head Scarves Voted Out in Turkey: Parliament Lifts 80-Year-Old Restriction on University Attire. The Washington Post. 2008-02-10. Page A17.
- Derakhshandeh, Mehran. Just a headscarf? Tehran Times. Mehr News Agency. 16 February 2008.
- Jenkins, Gareth. Turkey's Constitutional Changes: Much Ado About Nothing? Eurasia Daily Monitor. The Jamestown Foundation. 11 February 2008.
- Turkish president approves amendment lifting headscarf ban. The Times of India. 23 February 2008.
- "TURKEY - YÖK head gives guarantee to all Turkish students on headscarves". Hurriyetdailynews.com. 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- Head, Jonathan (2010-12-31). "Quiet end to Turkey's college headscarf ban". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- In quotes: Jack Straw on the veil – BBC News. 6 October 2006
- iengage.org.uk, 26 April 2010
- Law Lords Department. "Judgments – R (on the application of Begum (by her litigation friend, Rahman)) (Respondent) v. Headteacher and Governors of Denbigh High School (Appellants)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- Theodore Dalrymple in National Review, March 2005: Wrong from Head to Toe
- Press Association (2006-11-24). "Guardian: Veil row teacher sacked, November 24, 2006". Education.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- "The New York Times – Muslims' Veils Test Limits of Britain's Tolerance". Nytimes.com. 2007-06-22. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- Mitchell, David (25 July 2010). "If Britain decides to ban the burqa I might just start wearing one". The Guardian. London.
- "Marks & Spencer criticised for stocking hijabs in 'school essentials' section". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
- "M&S on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
- "Marks & Spencer's latest school clothing line is receiving a lot of criticism". indy100. 2018-10-12. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Islamic dress in Europe.|
- Burqa ban: What it means for the West By TCN News
- VEIL Project - Values, Equality and Differences in Liberal Democracies. Debates about Muslim Headscarves in Europe (University of Vienna)
- Headscarf defeat riles French Muslims from BBC News
- Q&A: Muslim headscarves from BBC News
- Judge Rules Philadelphia Police Can Ban Head Scarves from Officer.com
- Shabina Begum case: School wins Muslim dress appeal (22 March 2006)
- Wrong from Head to Toe - Theodore Dalrymple
- Islamism in Europe - Mark Steyn
- tesettür abiye
- The Veil and the British Male Elite
- Behind the Scarfed Law, There is Fear - Alain Badiou
- The Islamic veil across Europe(BBC)-How approaches to the Muslim veil differ across Europe.