Behind the Veil
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Behind the Veil

A Critical Analysis of European Veiling Laws

Neville Cox

Since the early 2010s, an increasing number of European countries have passed laws that prohibit the wearing of various kinds of Islamic veil in particular circumstances. This insightful book considers the arguments used to justify such laws and analyses the legitimacy of these arguments both generally and in regards to whether such laws can be seen as justified interferences with the rights of women who wish to wear such garments.
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Chapter 2: Rationales for veiling and the meaning of the veil

Neville Cox


Many of the arguments that have been advanced in support of laws that restrict the wearing of certain forms of Islamic head and face-covering veils operate on the assumption that the garments carry certain defined pejorative meanings. In addition, much analysis of the issue, including analysis of the human rights aspects of the debate engages neither with the reality of why certain women choose to wear veils nor with the significance of the act of veiling for those who do. As such, in this chapter I seek to consider the broad reasons for veiling and, in addition, to explain why this is so significant for some women.

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