The Face Veil: It doesn’t have to be for or against

An interview on BBC Radio Leeds with the National Spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association UK on the proposed ban of face veils in the NHS.




3 thoughts on “The Face Veil: It doesn’t have to be for or against

  1. You are right, I was indeed incorrect to assert that the Qur’an is as clear cut about this as I did. The verses I had in mind, e.g. [1] and [2] are not as unambiguous regarding the covering of the face as I thought I remembered.

    [1] “And say to the believing women that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts, and they disclose not their natural and artificial beauty except that which is apparent thereof, and that they draw their head-coverings over their bosoms, and that they disclose not their beauty save to their husbands,…” (24:32 – Five volume commentary)

    [2] ” O Prophet! tell thy wives and thy daughters, and the women of the believers, that they should draw close to them portions of their loose outer coverings. That is more likely that they may thus be distinguished and not molested. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.” (33:60 – Five volume commentary)

    You have also raised an important question. As far as religious freedom is concerned, anyone can claim that a certain practice is important to them according to their own interpretation of their religion, regardless of whether it has any bases in the religious text. For the government to engage in a theological discussion about what is a religious right and what isn’t, would be absurd.

  2. This is incorrect. Many Muslims believe that the Qur’an does oblige them to cover their face. They have a right to practice their religious conviction also.

    Conversely, there is a significant body of Muslims in the West who today argue that the Qur’an does not oblige women to cover their heads. Should the government choose to one day debate whether or not the headscarf should be banned in hospitals, they could equally argue that such a ban would not infringe religious freedom as one Muslim opinion is that the headscarf is not a religious obligation.

  3. A very important point went unmentioned in this interview. The Holy Qur’an clearly describes the appropriate manner of dress for women in the presence of men and there is no requirement to cover any part of the face. This leaves no cause for objection against Islam with respect to the issues discussed in the interview. This also means a ban on the face veil would not really be an infringement of religious freedom for Muslims.

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