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Muslim Veiling Controversies In Europe

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Chapter Summary

Muslim women in Europe who wear Islamic head and face coverings encounter social and practical problems on a day to day basis while they go about their ordinary lives. The headscarf/hijab is a complex communicative symbol but some see it as 'the' symbol of the Islamisation of Europe. This chapter discusses Muslim veiling in general. It examines how veiling cases have been considered by national courts and international human rights bodies, concentrating on developments between 2006 and 2008. For comparative purposes there is some reference to non-Muslim cases that raise analogous issues. The chapter notes the role of the margin of appreciation in explaining different legal and human rights outcomes. It describes the important themes in the debates on veiling, and locates them within broader contemporary political and philosophical debates.

Keywords: Europe; headscarf/hijab; international human rights; Muslim veiling; Muslim women



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