Observer on niqab

The Observer had a story on the front page of its review section last Sunday on niqab, the face veil worn by some Muslim women. The Big Cover-Up fails to ask the obvious question of why people can’t mind their own business - after all, given what some women (and some men) don’t wear, one might ask why it matters why some women choose to cover their faces as well. The thing nobody seems to mention is that of all the problems some Muslims cause, none of them seem to come from women, and none of them are the result of women covering their heads or faces, so why is anyone bothered? And of three types of veil shown on the actual pages of the paper, one of them is the Afghan burqa which is a cultural garment only worn in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan (accounts exist of it being spotted in England, but it’s very rare). In this country, the only people who cover their faces and cause trouble are the “hoodies” who are not banned. Why are people so obsessed with women in veils? And is this story Andrew Anthony’s own initiative, or did the Observer send him? And if so, why didn’t they send a woman with him, because she may have had a better chance of getting to talk to some of the women? (Hat tip: Abu Eesa.)

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