The Burqa Ban's Dark Side – Uncovering Face Covering Bans

16 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2016

See all articles by Petr Agha

Petr Agha

Charles University in Prague - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 1, 2016


The presence of the so-called Islamic headscarf in the European public sphere epitomizes probably one of the most interesting contemporary conflicts in the human rights universe. In the European public space, we find different ways of accommodating the presence of the veil, which reflect different constitutional and political traditions. They raise fundamental questions about European identity, the concept of secularism, gender as well as touch upon the legacy of colonialism. The discussions about the European project and its identity and the emerging cultures and (their) values is often reduced to simplistic debates. In the following pages, I put forward arguments showing that the liberal theory of minority rights, tends to remove certain considerations from the debates we lead in Europe and about Europe. What are the questions that should be posed and what are the social costs and shortcomings at stake here, is the main focus of this paper.

Keywords: burqa, human rights, public, veil, other, symbols

Suggested Citation

Agha, Petr, The Burqa Ban's Dark Side – Uncovering Face Covering Bans (June 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Petr Agha (Contact Author)

Charles University in Prague - Faculty of Law ( email )

Nam. Curieovych 7
Praha, 11640
Czech Republic

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