November 24, 2021 – Co-sponsored with the IFLS
“Unmasking the Hypocrisy of the Niqab Bans”
Dr. Miriam Zucker
In the last fifteen years many European countries have passed laws that ban the wearing of full-face Muslim veils in public places. In several cases reaching the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR),the court upheld such laws, based on the principle of “living together”. The ECtHR reasoned that the minimum requirements of life in society include the possibility of open interpersonal relationships, which it considered impeded by face-covering garments. Recently, the trend of banning these garments seems to have extended beyond the European continent. For example, Quebec’s “religious symbols” law obliges civil servants to carry out their functions without wearing religious face coverings.
Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many jurisdictions have made facemasks mandatory in public transport and public institutions. While these laws have transformed our public spaces, it appears that we manage to ‘live together’ in these face-covered public spaces. Considering these developments, my talk will question the coherency of the Muslim face veil bans.
Miriam Zucker received her SJD degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law
and her LLM from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She researches the areas of Multiculturalism and Feminism, Law and Religion, and Constitutional Law, and she is the recipient of the Audre Rapport Prize for Scholarship on Gender and Human Rights (2021).
Organized by the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies and co-sponsored by the Osgoode Colloquium on Law, Religion & Social Thought