Report

Women in Niqab Speak: A Study of the Niqab in Canada

2013

Women in Niqab Speak: A Study of the Niqab in Canada

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This report was published by the Canadian Council of Muslim Women.

HERE’S HOW THE AUTHORS DESCRIBE THIS REPORT:

Very few pieces of faith based clothing in Canada have ignited as much impassioned debates as the Muslim practice of the niqab. Covering the woman’s body and hair and leaving only the eyes visible, the niqab has often been problematized as a symbol of Islamic extremism, women’s oppression and lastly the failure of Muslims to integrate. The Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) is no stranger when it comes to addressing the very issues that affect Canadian Muslim communities, including debates concerning Muslim women and their choice of dress. Committed to the equality, equity, empowerment and diversity of Muslim women and their voices, for more than 30 years the national organization has delivered community based projects and advocated on behalf of Muslim women and their families. CCMW has previously issued position papers about the niqab and also presented our statements to government bodies. This has resulted in the media, policy officials, community organizations and other inquiring minds asking the Council to weigh in on the debate.

This study can be seen as a response to this growing national conversation and a reflection of CCMW’s values and continued commitment to the plurality of Muslim communities. It represents an attempt to cast light on the existing agency of and provide space for Canadian Muslim women who wear the niqab to speak for themselves. This study is not intended to dwell upon the religious or theological basis of the practice itself, but rather it is first and foremost about the lived experiences of the women and the diverse narratives that they have shared in their responses. The niqab itself is a complex issue and raises many questions for Muslim communities and the wider Canadian population itself. These questions do not yield simple answers, but they must be explored through open and honest discussion.

Clarke, L. (2013). Women in Niqab Speak: A Study of the Niqab in Canada. Canadian Council of Muslim Women. https://www.ccmw.com/publications/2019/1/22/women-in-niqab-speak-a-study-of-the-niqab-in-canada

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