Your Liberation, My Oppression: European Violation of Muslim Women’s Human Righs
are based. In upholding these facially neutral but disproportionately
discriminatory laws, the European Court of Human Rights has shown
Europe’s blatant disregard to the Western oppression of veiling Muslim
women. is paper presents evidence which discusses the importance
of the veil to Islamic culture, the ECHR’s Articles which are violated by
the burqa bans, the burqa ban legislations and the case law surrounding
them, and the detrimental impact these bans have had and may have
on Muslim women in the future.
II. RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE OF THE
e commandment for Muslim women to cover themselves comes from
the Quran, the Islamic sacred text. In the Quran, God commands, “O
Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the be-
lievers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments.”1
In another chapter, God orders,
And tell the believing women to restrict their vision and guard
their private parts and not expose their adornment except that
which [necessarily] appears thereof, and to wrap [a portion
of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their
adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their [father-
in-laws], their sons, their brothers, [their nephews], their
women . . .2
us, Muslim women were and are instructed to cover themselves
in a modest fashion in front of men to whom they are not closely related.
ere are three main types of clothing worn by Muslim women. e
rst, and the most common, is the hijab, which covers the hair, neck,
and entire body, exposing only the face, hands, and feet. en there is
the niqab, which is similar to the hijab, except that it also covers the face,
leaving only the eyes visible. Lastly, there is the burqa, which covers the
entire body, including the eyes; it includes a mesh panel across the eyes,
1. Quran 33:59.
2. Id. at 24:31.