General Article For and against the face veil

Topic Selected: Religion
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By Indlieb Farazi

A French parliamentary panel has recommended that face-covering veils such as the burqa or the niqab be banned in public institutions such as hospitals and schools.

The decision is the result of a six-month inquiry into full veils, after Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, said they were ‘not welcome’ in the country.

Here the issue is debated by Hadiah Ahmed, a niqab-wearing Muslim, and Shaaz Mahboob, vice-chair of British Muslims for Secular Democracy.

‘The niqab is part of my identity’

Hadiah Ahmed, 30, is a full-time mother of two in Manchester. She previously worked as an interior designer in London. She says:

‘I am a Muslim woman, born and bred in Yorkshire. I studied in English schools, furthered my education to degree level and have worked with celebrity faces.

‘I changed my whole lifestyle for my religion as it was the way I wanted to live.

‘I started wearing the khimaar (head scarf) and jilbab (a long dress-type cloak) a good few years ago as I ...

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