A Clash of Principles: Examining the Niqab in Canadian Courts

This post was written by guest contributor Maria Salman.In 1992, a young woman gathers the courage to pen a deeply personal journal entry for a teacher. She finally breaks the silence over an earth-shattering secret that she is the survivor of childhood sexual abuse committed against her by two male family members. Fast forward ten years, the police lays charges, and the trial begins, but when the young woman is called upon to testify, she is startled to find an unexpected barrier before her … [Read more...]

Using Islamic Identity Against Victims of Sexual Violence

As right-wing pundits are gaining momentum in North America, minority groups are unsurprisingly being targeted.  Among the questions being raised is: when does “national security” trump the need to address an instance of sexual assault against women? Muslim women, especially those who wear the hijab or niqab, experience a unique sense of vulnerability in the post-911 world.  Two cases come to mind when pondering the parallels between the state’s fixation on curbing terrorism and the frustration t … [Read more...]

Niqab, Courts, and Sexual Assault

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada heard submissions regarding the case of N.S., a complainant in a sexual assault case who is fighting for the right to testify without having to remove her niqab.  There's a summary of the hearing here, and you can look at a couple of my previous posts on MMW for further background.  This podcast is also a good resource.For those who are interested in writing letters of support to the complainant, there is a sample letter and contact information at the b … [Read more...]