Wearing a hijab is an important part of daily life for many Muslim women in countries across the world. However, wearing the hijab or some other veils and coverings are frowned upon or even banned outright in certain places. Here, we take a look at places where wearing the hijab is not allowed, or recommended.
The hijab covers a woman’s hair mainly, so it is allowed to be worn in more places than the niqab or the burka, which cover the entire body and face. Restrictions on these latter types of garment are much stricter, and they are banned in several countries. There are also Islamic swimsuits, known as ‘burkinis’, although the wearing of these is frowned upon or banned in certain countries, such as certain regions of Italy.
There are only two countries which have banned the hijab in schools and universities and government buildings – Azerbaijan and Kosovo. Tunisia and Turkey have previously banned the garment, although these restrictions have gradually been lifted or partially lifted.
Every Muslim has their own views on whether or not they should be covered up, and what they should use to do this. Many women don’t use any type of covering when out in public, particularly in countries which are not predominantly Islamic. Only very few countries have laws requiring women to be covered up when out in public – these are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan and part of Indonesia.
There is a lot of controversy in non-Muslim countries about whether or not veiling should be banned, and many Muslim and non-Muslim women disagree on what is best. Across Europe, there are many nations which do not allow for full-face coverings to be worn. There have been lots of debates in France recently, and it was the first European country to ban full-face coverings. Headscarves are allowed in universities, although they are banned in schools. Other religious symbols are also banned in French schools, such as jewellery with religious connotations.
In Great Britain, there are no bans on Islamic dress. However, each school is allowed to determine their own dress code. It’s thought that over 50% of Brits support a burqa ban in the country, but it is unclear whether or not this will go ahead in the near future. In the meantime, headscarves continue to be given as popular Eid gifts for Muslim women in the UK.