Should we listen to Shamima Begum’s verdict on the hijab?

What should one make of Shamima Begum’s appearance on Good Morning Britain? The London schoolgirl left the UK in 2015 to join Isis in Syria, but it appears she’s converted to common sense in recent times. Dressed in a sleeveless top and a baseball cap, Begum made a number of frank admissions, including how she ‘felt very constricted in the hijab. I felt like I was not myself.’ The cynic will suggest it is an act in an attempt to be allowed back to Britain. Perhaps. Or maybe we should give Begum the benefit of the doubt. She was young and naive at the time. Now she understands how an enforced

Are Switzerland and France really ‘Islamophobic’?

Is Switzerland ‘Islamophobic’? Critics of the country’s decision to outlaw face coverings think so. The ‘Burqa ban’, which passed into law this week as a result of a narrow vote in a referendum, applies to any form of face covering in a public gathering, unless worn for health reasons, at religious congregations, or carnivals. The legislation is not, at least directly, aimed at Muslims. And, what’s more, very few Swiss Muslims wear a burqa or niqab: almost no-one in Switzerland wears a burka and only around 30 women wear the niqab, according to research by the University of Lucerne. But the condemnation has nonetheless been swift. It was ‘a dark day’ for Muslims, the Central Council of