With the banning of the Muslim women’s niqab (face veil) in France on 12 April 2011, there has been a debate within academia regarding its justification. In the USA, Professor Jocelyne Cesari, Director of the Islam in the West Program, Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University commented that some politicians in Europe ‘conflate security issues with Islam. Although, not one French parliamentarian provided proof during debate that the niqab represents a danger for public order.’ In Australia, Professor Abdullah Saeed, Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies remarked, ‘In France, reports suggest that only about a couple of thousand Muslims (out of 5–6 million) wear the face veil. So what is the fuss all about?’

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