This article is about the purported banning of the burqua and niqab in Belgium, following France’s lead in proposing legislation that would outlaw the wearing of these religious garments in the public sphere. The author of this article does raise a good point in that the banning of these articles is treating a symptom rather than a real problem, yet what he views as the real problem is a bit short-sighted. It is certainly likely that some of the women who wear burquas or niqabs do so under duress, but this article does not speak to the fact that many women freely choose to wear these garments and find them as deeply personal expressions of their faith. The dichotomy of free vs repressed set up in this article is a false one; it eliminates the agency of the women to choose how to participate in the muslim faith, and also ignores the possibility that Western ideals are in fact not universal.
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