Friday Links

Photo via Alethea Arnaquq-Baril. Source.

Canada:MMW’s own Shireen Ahmed was on the CBC radio show The Current talking about what this week’s Canadian election results mean.One take away in Colorlines from the obsession with the niqab in the Canadian election is the #doimatternow campaign, which highlights the relative silence of the major candidates on the issues affecting a majority of Native women (including over a thousand missing and murdered indigenous women since 1980) at the expensive of the extremely small minority of Ca … [Read more...]

Recent Muslimish News Coverage in the Geneva Daily Le Temps


 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


 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


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...]

Recent Good News Out of Switzerland

Girls in headscarves enter a school. Image via

Courts in the Swiss canton of Thurgau have overturned on appeal the cantonal school district’s decision to forbid two Albanian girls from wearing the headscarf to school.  The story begins in 2011, when two 14-year-old girls were forbidden from wearing their headscarves to classes.  What ensued was a two-year legal battle that saw the school’s decision approved once by the courts, then now overturned. Surprising to me is that the ruling found that a blanket ban on headscarves was dispr … [Read more...]

The “Muslim Kristallnacht” and a Swiss Twittergate

Alexander Muller

One of the more colorful Muslim figures in Switzerland making the media rounds the past few months is Aziz Osmanoglu of Basel, who was recently on trial for hate speech charges.  The court case was based on Osmanoglu’s statements made to a Swiss TV show, which essentially added up to saying that it was “Sharia-compliant” to beat a recalcitrant wife if she refused to have sex. Specifically, he said, “A man needs sex. That is why he can, as a last resort, beat his wife if she refuses. If not, the m … [Read more...]