The Elephant in the Room: Niqabs in the Courtroom

The Supreme Court of Canada. Guided Tour 2013.

A couple of years ago I attended a lecture delivered by Dr. Natasha Bakht at the University of Alberta, who had come to advocate for women’s right to religious accommodation in the courtroom, a subject which proved to be quite divisive. I wrote a post about it on my personal blog, as I personally felt that her views on the issue were refreshing after all the anti-niqab brouhaha that was around back then.Dr. Bakht’s speech focused on the now famous N.S. vs. the Queen case that took place in On … [Read more...]

Pink Burqas, Gagas and Madonnas

Source

It gets me every time... it makes me upset and irrationally angry. The stereotyping, the orientalist exoticism and the appropriation are only some of the things that go on when niqab, hijabs and “Muslim clothing” in general is used for profit by non-Muslim Western stars.Today M.I.A., who was once described by Time Magazine as wearing “one of the most controversial garments of our era” while wearing a niqab, is no longer “unique.”  In early July, Madonna published pictures of herself wearing a … [Read more...]

Iron(y) Man 3: Saving Muslim Women

An Iron Man 3 action figure.

Explosions, gripping fight scenes, artificial intelligence, funny one-liners, sexist playboy arrogance and close-ups of Robert Downey Jr.'s face overlaid with computer graphics are everything I expect when walking into an Iron Man movie. What I don't expect are convenient and overused Hollywood tropes about Muslim women. So now you know my guilty pleasure. I'm a science-fiction-superhero-action-film geek -- and I frequent these movie genres in part to turn off my brain, enjoy some CGI … [Read more...]

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...]

Rise of the Niqabi Criminal: Balaclavas, Burkas and Bank Robberies

Source: danielpipes.org

On December 30 of last year, someone wearing a niqab threw acid in the face of 20 year old Victoria's Secret shop assistant, Naomi Oni as she returned home after a late shift work one night. As Naomi Oni approached the flat she shared with her mother in Dagenham, East London, she caught a glimpse of the attacker before the acid was thrown at her.  Naomi Oni was almost blinded in the terrible, apparently random attack, although the Daily Mail guesses that this attack may have been motivated by … [Read more...]

“Islamically dressed” sex workers in a Christian nation

Source: NY Daily News

I was personally not aware that Malawi had a somewhat significant Muslim population when I read this report by Nyasa Times discussing the trend of sex workers wearing the hijab in certain cities in Malawi. This is because I was aware that Malawi identifies itself as a Christian nation "with no religious conflict”, with the religion being followed by 83% of the Malawian population. Yet as I discovered, a minority of Malawians, 13%, are Muslim.According to the report, sex workers are wearing h … [Read more...]

French Magazine Le Point’s Shameless Headline

November 1 cover of Le Point.

France is and will always be my special soapbox, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when crap like this comes out. On November 1st, the magazine ran a cover with a niqabi (OF COURSE) on the front, with the headline “Cet Islam sans gêne” (This Brazen Islam), with a sub-headline of examples of where Muslims are behaving badly: schools, cafeterias, pools, schools, school programs. Note that in France these are always the examples of Muslims behaving badly, the actual content is such weak sauce I wo … [Read more...]


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