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Behind the Veil: A Critical Analysis of European Veiling Laws

Behind the Veil deepens the literature with its specific focus on the question of veiling and the way it is approached in European legislation and through the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

 

The religious rights of Muslims living in Europe is increasingly attracting the attention of scholars from various disciplines. Behind the Veil deepens the literature with its specific focus on the question of veiling and the way it is approached in European legislation and through the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The main argument of the book is that while the “primary reason for voluntarily wearing” the veil is “religious” (p. 35). European laws ban face veils by citing concerns about terrorism and threats against gender equality, open society and the rights of others. Cox emphasizes that these laws and their justifications are not consistent with the European human rights regime. He further “speculates” that the real reasons (hence the title of the book) for the ban are an attempt to respond to the ideological challenge of Islam and to reaffirm Europe’s moral high ground in a time of anxiety.

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