Some facts on Ban on burqa, niqab, hijab in Europe

  • The burqa, niqab or hijab issue is part of a heated debate about multiculturalism in Europe. The issues involved are religious freedom, female equality, secular traditions and even fears of terrorism.
  • Recently, a parliamentary commission in Italy has approved a draft law banning women from wearing in public a burqa, niqab, hijab or any other garb that covers the face.
  • Previously, in April 2011, France barred women from leaving their home with their face hidden behind a veil. In July 2011, a law banning the full face-veil came into effect in Belgium.
  • In Spain, Barcelona has imposed a ban on full face-veils in public spaces; at least two smaller towns in Catalonia, the region that includes Barcelona, have also imposed similar bans.

Please note that Niqab covers the face, unlike a burqa, which covers the whole body from the top of the head to the toes. Hijab refers to both the head covering and modest style of dressing. It means covering everything except face and hands in public. Chador is an open cloak. It is a full body-length of fabric split open down the front, with a head-hole in the top.

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