Islamic Headscarves and Female Circumcision: Unveiling the Threat Posed by Islam to Human Rights

New Zealand Post-Graduate Law E-Journal, Issue 2, 2005

33 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2020

See all articles by Myra Williamson

Myra Williamson

Auckland University of Technology - Auckland University of Technology - School of Law; University of Waikato; Kuwait International Law School

Date Written: April 16, 2005

Abstract

This paper is, in part, a response to the NZPGLeJ Editor-in-Chief Herman Salton’s article, “‘Veiled Threats?’ Islam, Headscarves and Freedom of Religion in France and the United States”, which was published in the first issue of this journal. However, it moves beyond Salton’s article as it seeks to address familiar assumptions regarding the inherent incompatibility of Islam with human rights, particularly women’s rights. By focusing on two distinct issues, the Islamic headscarf and the practice of female circumcision, questions are raised as to whether Islam and human rights, especially women’s rights, are truly incompatible or whether there are other issues at stake. It also discusses the defamation of religions, particularly Islam, and the recent steps taken by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in relation to this issue. The paper concludes by providing some insights into the likely future direction that the headscarf debate may take in New Zealand.

Keywords: Women's rights, Islam and women, hijab, headscarves, female circumcision, female genital mutilation, FGM, New Zealand, headscarf debate

JEL Classification: I3, I30, I31, K3, K30, K33, K36, K39, K42, K49

Suggested Citation

Williamson, Myra, Islamic Headscarves and Female Circumcision: Unveiling the Threat Posed by Islam to Human Rights (April 16, 2005). New Zealand Post-Graduate Law E-Journal, Issue 2, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3624717

Myra Williamson (Contact Author)

Auckland University of Technology - Auckland University of Technology - School of Law ( email )

Private Bag 92006
Auckland, 1142
New Zealand

University of Waikato ( email )

New Zealand

Kuwait International Law School ( email )

Block 4, Building 800005
Doha City, Jahra 93151
Kuwait

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