A Critical Analysis of European Veiling Laws
Chapter 4: Terrorism, national security and the Islamic veil
A number of European states have cited national security concerns to justify their ‘anti-veiling’ laws. In this chapter I consider the nature of these concerns, and also assess whether they warrant any kind of prohibition of veiling. I suggest that, in fact, there is no evidence that even the Islamic face veil is any kind of a security threat and, indeed, that some of the security concerns that are referenced, if they can be used to justify restrictions on veiling, should also be used to justify restrictions on non-controversial things such as the wearing of sunglasses and the use of mobile phones. Finally I suggest that, whether or not this is the intended effect of veiling laws that are justified in the name of national security, they will inevitably fuel an undeserved suspicion of veil-wearing women and, more broadly, of Muslims generally.
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