Western governments are telling Muslim women not to cover up
IN THE diverse democracies of the early 21st century, there are certain political and cultural issues that never go away. A political or judicial decision may settle things for a while, but so strong are the conflicting emotions that the flames can quickly flare up. One such issue is the attire of Muslim women, and how and if it should be limited by the state.
Take France, which regulates religious apparel, and religion generally, in a stricter way than any other democracy. The summer of 2016 was a torrid one for that country’s beaches, as many local authorities decreed bans on the burkini, a full-body swimsuit favoured by some Muslim women. After weeks of nasty seaside scenes, the country’s highest administrative court ruled that the bans were an unacceptable curb on liberty.