Kuwait: “I understand European governments that ban the use of niqab”, Sheikh wife says

”I understand European governments that ban the use of the niqab [the veil that covers the whole of the face] or that want to introduce rules forbidding its use. The integral veil is unacceptable and is not even a religious precept”. These are the comments of the Kuwaiti female Sheikh Hussah Sabah Salem al-Sabah, who is currently in Milan for the launch of the ”Al Fann, the art of Islamic civilisation” exhibition, which is being held at Palazzo Reale until January 30.

”If a woman wants to cover her head with a hijab, she is free to do so. But the niqab is unacceptable. There is not a passage of the Koran in which it is written that a woman must cover her face,” the Sheikh told ANSAmed. It is, she says, ”religious fanaticism that has nothing to do with Islam”.

In response to a question on the sad story of Sakineh, the Iranian woman accused of killing her husband and sentenced to death by stoning, Sheikh al Sabah said that ”before being able to resolve a problem as big as stoning, we must remedy the issue of the veil”.

The wife of the Kuwaiti Prime Minister maintains that it is possible to ban the niqab by law. Indeed, it is the right thing to do. ”It is a question of national security. We must know who is behind the veil”. There then follows an equally important issue: communication between human beings. With a symbolic gesture, taking a sheet of paper and placing it in front of her face, Sheikh Hussah asks ”how can we communicate if in front of me there is a wall that separates us?”.

via ISLAM: KUWAIT SHEIKH, INTEGRAL VEIL IS UNACCEPTABLE – Lombardia – ANSAMED.info.

Syria has also banned both niqab and burqa at Universities.

Is anyone going to call this woman racist too?

Turkey: Judges caution about “relaxation of burqa ban”

The Supreme Court warned Turkey that the country’s political progressive relaxation of restrictions on women wearing headscarves violates the constitution’s secular principles.
The statement comes after a series of meetings on the issue between the opposition parties and the ruling AK Party, which two years ago lost a battle with the judges over the veil.
In principle, women are forbidden to cover their heads at many universities and in all government offices, but few universities follow the prohibition, and the Ministry of Education has said it will support any student who disobeys the ban.
The main opposition party, a strong supporter of the ban, now says he wants a commitment.

Source.

Background:
“Headscarf ban is against freedom of believe”, Erdogan says.
Chief of Religious Affairs Directorate asks politicians to solve headscarf’s problem by themselves.
Erdogan’s party loses key vote on headscarf.

Turkey: Erdogan’s party loses key vote on headscarf ban

Good news. Politicians fail to find common ground on lifting Turkey’s head scarf ban | StarTribune.com:

“Turkey’s governing party failed to win key opposition support on Wednesday for plans to lift a ban on the wearing of Islamic head scarves at universities, a deeply divisive issue in a country with secular laws and a Muslim population.

The conflict over the head scarf reflects a struggle over Turkey’s direction between the Islamic-oriented government, which argues for more religious freedom, and critics who believe the country’s secular principles are in peril.

In Turkey, women are free to wear Islamic head scarves, but students, teachers and state-employed officials are not.”

Background:
“Headscarf ban is against freedom of believe”, Erdogan says
.
Chief of Religious Affairs Directorate asks politicians to solve headscarf’s problem by themselves.

Syria: burqa and niqab ban in universities

Syria bans the burka and niqab in universities | Mail Online

Syria has banned face-covering Islamic veils from the country’s universities.
The surprise move comes as similar moves in Europe – including controversial calls in Britain for a ban on burkas – have sparked cries of discrimination against Muslims.
The crackdown was ordered by the secular government in Damascus amid fears of increasing Islamic extremism among young Muslim students.
Syria is not a Muslim country. An official at the ministry says the ban affects public and private universities and aims to protect the country’s secular identity.

Are they also going to call Syria racist?

Canada: Bill to restrict niqab scrutinized in Quebec

Bill to restrict niqab scrutinized:

“A National Assembly committee analyzing Bill 94, which would make it illegal for Islamic women to wear the niqab in government offices, schools and hospitals, resumes sitting Tuesday. The hearing will hear from experts on the topic.

Quebec Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier has said the bill is “balanced.” But the Parti Quebecois has called for a ban on all ostentatious religious signs, including the hijab Islamic head covering, in the public sector and finds Bill 94 too meek. Islamic groups say Bill 94 singles them out and is discriminatory.”

Anglican Church: Williams on burqa ban, secularism and Europe

Rowan Williams

Episcopal Life Online – WORLD REPORT:

“Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has deplored attempts by governments in Europe to prohibit Muslim women from publicly wearing the burqa, a garment that covers the entire body.

Governments should have better things to do than ban the burqa,’ Williams, the leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, told an interfaith meeting organized by the National Council of Churches in India at its headquarters in Nagpur, during a visit to India.

…”I believe that the state ought not to be addressing issues like these. Instead, it should leave such concerns to the religious communities,” stated Williams at the Oct. 14 meeting in Nagpur. He described the French ban as “a sign of being overanxious.”

More than 100 church leaders, led by the NCCI’s president, Methodist Bishop Taranath Sagar, and Bishop Purely Lyngdoh, moderator of the Church of North India, attended the meeting alongside Muslims and Sikhs, and members of the Hindu community.

We are glad that the archbishop spoke out clearly on the burqa controversy. He is very objective and respects other faiths,” A. Majid Parekh, a Muslim leader in Nagpur, told ENInews after listening to the Anglican leader.

Williams told ENInews that the controversy generated by bans on the burqa, the Sikh turban and the Christian cross in some European countries, “shows the extension of secularism too far. This ought to be resisted. The communities should have the right to decide on such issues.” Williams said he had protested when a British Airways employee was told she should not wear her necklace cross visibly while at work.

He told the meeting that attacks against migrants in Europe were not the result of Christian prejudice against non-Christians but a “crude nationalist prejudice against migrants and outsiders.”

On the link between religions and terrorism, the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion said that terrorism is a product of “bad” religion. “The positive affirmation of faith in God and respect for one another is the solution for it,” he stated.”

Turkey: Chief of Religious Affairs Directorate asks politicians to solve headscarf’s problem by themselves

‘Leave us out of headscarf issue,’ says Turkey’s religious director – Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review:

Chief of the Religious Affairs Directorate Ali Bardakoğlu has responded to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call for cooperation in solving the headscarf issue by asking politicians to solve the problem themselves.

Don’t leave the headscarf issue to us, let the politicians solve it through dialogue,” Bardakoğlu told daily Habertürk on Friday.

Erdoğan had previously called for a solution to the issue through the involvement of the Religious Affairs Directorate, a department within the Prime Ministry.

Bardakoğlu responded by saying the directorate does “not make statements on order.”

Wearing a headscarf is a matter of personal choice, said the religious chief. Wearing a headscarf does not make you Muslim, just as not wearing a headscarf does not mean that you are not Muslim.”