A Creeping Sharia Freakout: How France’s latest “Muslim Problem” Really Wasn’t One

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As is usually the case in France, any time anything happens where Muslims could even remotely be involved, it becomes a media circus - any time is a good time to talk about how “Muslims want it their way” or how “Muslims don’t want to integrate.”Last week, a 21 year old woman in a public park in the city of Reims was apparently assaulted by Muslim women for wearing a bikini in public. Several news outlets picked up on the story, including my personal favorite, the Daily Mail (whether that is … [Read more...]

Long Skirts aren’t “secular” enough in France

longskirtfr

I write a lot about France and its national psychosis over headscarves. I wrote my undergraduate thesis on the 2004 law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols. I lived there as a hijabi for almost five years. So it is safe to say nothing really involving France and headscarves shocks me any more. Until recently.One of the typical elements of the headscarf ban in schools is that women can’t wear headbands greater than a certain width, or caps, or hats, you know, because it might be t … [Read more...]

Recent Muslimish News Coverage in the Geneva Daily Le Temps

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 Le Temps is the French part of Switzerland’s newspaper of record, and one of the newspapers I read daily. I am a huge fan of their literature section, I have acquaintances who work there, and (full disclosure) I have even had the honor of being citied in that paper. So in other words, I usually enjoy Le Temps’ news coverage. One of the things that has been bothering me lately, which has also been a running theme in my recent MMW posts, is the way Swiss media and pol … [Read more...]

A proposed headscarf ban in the Swiss Canton of Valais

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 So apparently Swiss politicians, lacking in creativity, have nothing better to do than copy what is going on in France. After the burqa ban in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino and some local issues in the German-speaking cantons, the latest part of Switzerland to jump on the “policing women’s clothing” bandwagon is the Canton of Valais. In an article in the Geneva daily Le Temps, a delegate from the Swiss Socialist Party was quoted as asking if there was really a reason to vote … [Read more...]

A Potential Burqa Ban at the Federal Level in Switzerland

The optimism in my last post, at least for Switzerland, has been tempered with news coming out of Switzerland last week.In Switzerland (where niqab is already banned in Ticino since 2013), the German-speaking newspaper SonntagsBlick recently cited a survey saying that 62% of the Swiss population would be in favor of a burqa ban.  Granted, the Tribune de Geneve mentioned that the methodology of the SonntagsBlick survery was not made clear. But as usual, Muslim women and their clothing are the … [Read more...]

The Latest on the Headscarf “Situation” in Switzerland

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The Swiss federal government gives a lot of leeway to cantons, cities and even schools and professional associations (for those of you who remember the Sura al Shawk case, where the original decision of basketball association, Probasket, was allowed to stand by the courts) to decide their hijab policies on a case-by-case basis.So despite having a nationwide minaret ban (which isn't as much about Islam as it appears on the surface), unlike in France, there is no national headscarf "law" in … [Read more...]

No Culture for Niqabis

Part of the infographic produced by Libération.

The French "niqab" ban (burqa ban, whatever ban…call it what you will) of October 2010 has not faded away from the public consciousness in France at all. What I had originally hoped was just right-wing propaganda has turned out to be, since its entry into force in April 2011, part and parcel of a unique French interpretation of democracy and a revisionist version of French secularism, or laïcité. What started as laïcité was a series of what were originally anti-Catholic laws in 1882 and 1905, whi … [Read more...]


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