Veils, headscarves, bans, surveys

Veils, headscarves, bans, surveys


Via T&P and El Mundo, The Muslim Federation in Spain announced they will turn to the Constitutional Court regarding the decision of a Madrid school to expel a hijab-wearing student.

"There is no negotiation because we are talking about a basic right. This is a battle for freedom of the Muslims and the Spanish people in general. We can not live in a state that violates human rights for free. We are undertaking this battle until the end of the Constitutional Court"he said. (more)


Following the story of a woman who was fined in Nantes for driving with a niqab, the five mosques in the city of Nantes published a joint press release (FR) saying that "once again Muslim and Islam have been given a lot of media coverage for an insignificant incident."

The mosques say that the ticket followed the current legal procedures and they are upset at the Islamization of such an event. They see this as a "systematic stigmatization which counter the values of the Republic" and "invite the authorities to assume their responsibility".

The woman's husband is meanwhile being accused of polygamy (FR) and welfare fraud. The man apparently has four wives and 12 kids, and each of his wives receives single-parent support.

The husband, L.H., was born in Algeria in 1975 and grew up in France. He acquired French citizenship in 1999. Brice Hortefeux, French Interior Minister asked Minister Eric Besson (Immigration) to check whether L.H.'s citizenship could be revoked.

Since June 1009 L.H. has served as head of the Rezé Muslim Cultural Association (ACRM), who goal is to construct a mosque in Rezé, a town next to Nantes. The association's treasurer says that the association and L.H.'s private life shouldn't be mixed together. The government lacks the courage, it's Islam which is being attacked, he said. An acquaintance who wished to remain anonymous, however, said that L.H. knew to ride the wave of Islam and that it's not correct to play with their religion. Most people are wary of this type, he said.

Just a third of the French (FR) support a veil (burka) ban as advocated by the government, according to a TNS Sofres survey for Europe 1.

The French are split on the issue, but the majority (64%) favor a total or limited ban, the survey shows. 33% think it should be banned all over France, 31% prefer banning it only in certain public places, 22% don't support the ban, but rather raising awareness of the population concerned, and 10% think that [the gov't] shouldn't intervene.

Almost all right-wingers support a legal ban (84%), but are split between a total ban (47%) and a limited one (37%). Front National supporters are more likely to want a total ban (67%) than UMP supporters (44%).

Left-wingers are far more torn between the different solutions: 27% support a law for a total ban, 29% a limited-ban law, and 32% for raising awareness (10% for doing nothing).


Almost half of PVV supporters (NL) think that Geert Wilders is running a campaign which is too harsh against Muslim women wearing headscarves. This according to a survey by Synovate for NRC Handelsblad.

The PVV supporters are very divided about the issue. 40% of PVV sympathizers think the PVV 'devotes too much attention to headscarves'. But almost as many (29%), don't agree and support Wilders' standpoint.


Three hundred people demonstrated in Brussels Saturday against headscarves in schools (NL) and government services. The protesters ask the French Community of Belgium to soon approve a decree banning the headscarves.

Organizer Nadia Geerts says that they get more and more testimonies from school who all say that the problem is becoming worse. It's not a problem of one school and the politicians should get involved.

The French Community will vote on the decree before the summer vacation, but the parties are split. MR is the only one clearly for the ban in both elementary schools and high-schools. Mischaël Mordrikamen of the Popular Party also supports it.

Via Islamization Watch, a CNN report on the proposed full-veil ban in Belgium:

At the end of this clip CNN correspondent Nic Robertson mentions that the Netherlands banned the burka in schools. As far as I know, though the cabinet discussed it, the proposal never made it into law.


The Norwegian government thinks a ban on body-covering veils such as the niqab might conflict with human rights, Aftenposten reports.

The Ministry of Justice concluded that a ban will likely conflict with Article 9 on religious freedom in the European Convention of Human Rights.

"We should rather identify measures that don't adversely affect the women and which actually have better effects. A legal ban, with associated punishments, will first and foremost adversely affect the women who are oppressed and who already carry a lot on their shoulders," Justice Minister Knut Storberget (AP) told Aftenposten.

The Progress Party proposed in March a ban on body-covering garments such as the niqab and burka in public. The party's immigration-policies spokesperson Per-Willy Amundsen says the government is hiding behind international conventions.

According to the Justice Ministry's legal department, a niqab ban is not justified on the grounds of public safety, order, health or morals, or with respect to protecting other rights and freedoms.

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