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Posted in: Islamic Gender & Religious Apartheid, Hijab & Burqa

Published on Jan 27, 2010 by Phyllis Chesler

Published by The New York Times

France Considers a Ban on the Burqa

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Banning the burqa and niqab need not be a case of "Muslim-bashing"; it might also be a statement of support for Muslim women's human rights. The burqa and niqab are isolating garments that interfere with a woman's ability to see, hear, carry on normal conversations and walk safely.

Many Muslim women are not given a free choice about how to dress; some are persecuted and even murdered by their families for refusing to wear the Islamic veil.

Ideally, one does not want the government or the family to tell women how to dress, but the potential French ban on the burqa and niqab is not morally equivalent to the utter subordination of women as practiced by the Taliban and in Saudi Arabia.

Phyllis Chesler
New York

The writer is emerita professor of psychology and women studies at City University of New York.

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