We’re closing 2018 by republishing our ten most-read articles of the year. Here’s No. 9: Qanta Ahmed on the niqab:
As a Muslim woman observing Islam, I am fully supportive of Boris Johnson’s rejection of the niqab. And I wonder how many of the former Foreign Secretary’s critics understand my religion, what this form of dress represents and the subjugation it implies. To defend the niqab and to defend Muslim women are, I can assure you, two very different things indeed.
Growing up Muslim in Britain, not once was I compelled to cover my hair. This changed when I moved to Saudi Arabia to practice medicine. Arriving in the Kingdom, by Saudi Arabia’s Sharia law, I could not go out into public without concealing my entire body, save face and hands, in a flowing, black abayya.