Recently, there has been controversy around the veil worn by some Muslim women to conceal their faces. Many have viewed this as a conflict between Muslims on one side and the "Islamophobic" west on the other. Not so.
During November 2006, the WLUML exhibition focusing on various types of dress worn by women in selected Muslim contexts, "Dress Codes and Modes", was on display at the Department of Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College.
For the past month a renewed debate about citizenship, religious freedom and gender hasbeen raging in Britain. Marieme Helie Lucas offers her perspective and throws down a few challenges to the "coward Left".
In 1950 Sarajevo's local parliament introduced a law to ban veils "with the aim of removing the centuries old tradition of oppressing the female population," but today many daughters and granddaughters of these women have put the hijab back on again.
A presentation by Aisha Lee Shaheed, an independent writer-researcher and WLUML networker upon the Canadian launch of the "Dress Codes and Modes: Women's dress in some Muslim countries and communities" exhibition in August 2006.
From a hard knot of contradictions a further thread has unravelled, and the most preposterous rationalization of all, particularly coming out of the mouths of men - that the niqab is a feminist declaration.