A Spanish city banned the veil, Norway decided not to, and a Swiss Muslim writes about her experience with it.
This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com
Spanish city bans Muslim veils
The Spanish city of Lleida has barred women from wearing face-covering Islamic veils inside its municipal buildings.
The move makes the northern city - population 135,000 - the first in the country to regulate the garments that have triggered debate across Europe.
Lleida's town hall passed the ban with 23 votes in favour, one against and two abstentions.
Norway: Veil ban proposal rejected
FrP’s Parliamentary proposal to ban burkas and niqabs in public has been binned.
Yesterday, a united Coalition and Opposition voted against the suggestion, saying it would only cause women who are subjected to severe suppression by their husband further problems.
“All repression must be combated but by means of open debate, not with sanctions that affect the victims,” Jan Tore Sanner, deputy leader for the Conservative Party (H) tells NRK.
Zeina: Under my niqab
A Swiss Muslim has written a book about her life under a niqab. For opponents, the niqab is a symbol of the oppression of the Muslim woman. The woman says that she lost her identity by wearing the niqab, yet her book wasn't written to settle an account with her religion.
Zeina spoke to Swiss newspaper Blick. The woman was married to a fundamentalist Muslims. He forced her to put on a niqab. For the young woman it was torture. "Suddenly I wasn't more than a kind of shadow without name or identity. I also lost my face," says Zeina. When her husband gave her the garment as a 'gift', she refused to put it on. "Because I knew that there was no way back. If you wear the veil once, than you have no choice any more."
And so she wore the niqab for years. Her life also took on a different direction. She rarely went outside, one exceptional time she met other Muslim women. "But I couldn't be myself with them. they were all won over by the niqab. There was no room for discussion." On the street she only got approving looks from Muslims. The Swiss had trouble with her traditional dress. They thought the niqab was objectionable, provoking. Often she was called 'ugly' and 'Dracula'.
She couldn't speak about it with her husband, he'd changed. "When we married he wasn't so fanatic at all." But he had suddenly come under the influence of a fundamentalist group and he was aggressive. He beat her more often, but she stayed silent since she loved their child. When a neighbor so her without the veil, Zeina had just been beaten up black and blue. The female neighbor encouraged her that she didn't have to take it any longer. "I then realized that she was right, and I decided to flee with my child."
Zeina went into hiding and was terrified. She knew very well that her husband had started hunting for her. The confrontation with the mirror was shocking. "Suddenly I saw myself again without a niqab, I looked like a ghost." The book with her story will be published soon. It is not a plea against Islam. "I did not write this book against Islam, but for Islam, because Muslims can also be religious without waring the niqab," she concludes.
Source: HLN (Dutch)