Wearing a niqab, a veil where the eyes are visible through a small split, has no negative effect on the identification of emotions, according to a first study by the University of Amsterdam on the effect of the niqab on mutual communication.
119 people were shown a silent film in which a woman told a story and showed diverse emotions. In one film the face of the woman was visible, in a second she wore a niqab where only her eyes were visible, and a third film showed only a cut out of a pair of eyes.
The expectation was that emotion would be best identified if the whole face was visible, but in all films the showed emotions were identified well. The interpretation of the pictures did differ. For the woman in the niqab negative emotions were experienced more intensely, while for the eye cut-out joy was experienced more strongly.
Last week the cabinet announced that wearing a burka and other face-covering clothing hinders open communications and is therefore undesirable. Burqas are banned in schools and civil servants may not wear it. Wearing a burqa in public transportation is also undesirable, according to the cabinet declaration.
Source: Volkskrant (Dutch)