The Islamic Veil and its Discontents: How Do they Undermine Gender Equality
Religion and Human Rights, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 11-29, 2012
Posted: 27 Feb 2012
Date Written: January 9, 2012
The article addresses the use of notions of gender equality and non-discrimination in the discussions concerning the practice of Islamic veiling by the European Court of Human Rights as well as by French authorities in relation to the recent adoption of the law banning full face veils in public spaces in France. The author argues that the use of the rhetoric of gender equality without the required knowledge and understanding of the justifications for and discussions about this practice existing within Islam is in both cases very inadequate and leads to results opposite to those they intended to promote. Based on insights into the discussions of Muslims about the practice of veiling the author makes some proposals for a more adequate approach to this practice both from the point of view of women's status as well as from the point of view of relationship between Islam and the West.
Keywords: Islamic veil, equality, France, European court of human rights, sexuality
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