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Dress Codes

Israeli Girl, 8, at Center of Tension Over Religious Extremism

December 28, 2011

The latest battleground in Israel’s struggle over religious extremism covers little more than a square mile of this Jewish city situated between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and it has the unexpected public face of a blond, bespectacled second-grade girl.

Kazakhstan: Students Win Fight Against Hijab Ban

December 13, 2011

AQTOBE, Kazakhstan -- Officials at a university in northwestern Kazakhstan have lifted a hijab ban for students after eight female students threatened to sue the school, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The students told RFE/RL on December 8 that they had been unable to attend classes at Saqtaghan Baishev University, as a duty officer at the school's entrance was preventing them from entering the university because of their head scarves, or hijabs.

Indonesia: 'Dirty' Punks Forced into 'Moral Rehab' by Sharia Police

December 14, 2011

Indonesian sharia police are "morally rehabilitating" more than 60 young punk rock fans who were holding a charity concert in Aceh province in northern Sumatra.

Police arrested 59 male and five female punk rock fans at a concert organised to raise money for orphans in the provincial capital Banda Aceh on Saturday night, saying the youths were damaging the province's image.

Iran: Separation of Men & Women in Government Offices

December 6, 2011

A new law calling for separation of men and women employees in governmental offices will be enforced soon in Iran’s city of Bushehr, reported a Persian language news publication Asr-Iran yesterday.

The law is enforced because, “no one acts on his/her duty,” said Bushehr governor Mohammad Hussein Jahanbakhsh to news reporters.

Many Iranian women resent the fact that they are forced to wear Hijab (Islamic headscarf) or Chador (A large cloth covering the women’s body from head to toe) when they leave home.

Uzbekistan: Scarf or Hijab Debate, Law Bans Religious Attire

October 12, 2011

Was it a “traditional white scarf” or a hijab? That is what rights groups in Uzbekistan would like to know from the state after the secular Muslim republic issued its first reported dress code fine since implementing a tough new law three years ago banning religious attire.

Secularism vs Communalism: Learning from the Ban on Full Face Covering Veil in France

April, 2011

Three days after the enforcement of the French law that prohibits full face covering, and after the first women law breakers have been fined, international media focus on ’protesting Muslims’, while the voices of the vast majority of presumed Muslims in France are ignored.

One has to raise issue with the absence of proper coverage by English language international media regarding the public stands taken by French citizens of migrant Muslim descent.

Iran: Deputy Says Female Defendants Should Not Wear Chador In Court

September 21, 2011

Iranian parliament deputy Laleh Eftekhari has criticized female defendants who appear in court wearing the compulsory chador, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Eftekhari said the "sanctity of the chador would be blemished" if such women wear it, and the sight of women thus attired would have a "negative impact on society."

She added that most "guilty female defendants" do not believe in the full-body Islamic veil and have to be forced to wear one when they appear in court.

The Islamic Veil across Europe

September 22, 2011

Countries across Europe have wrestled with the issue of the Muslim veil - in various forms such as the body-covering burka andthe niqab, which covers the face apart from the eyes.

The debate takes in religious freedom, female equality, secular traditions and even fears of terrorism.

France: With the burqa ban women are 'effectively under house arrest'

September 19, 2011

Since France introduced its burqa ban in April there have been violent attacks on women wearing the niqab and, this week, the first fines could be handed down. But a legal challenge to this hard line may yet expose the French state as a laughing stock.

Hind Ahmas walks into a brasserie in the north Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois. Jaws drop, shoulders tighten and a look of disgust ripples across the faces of haggard men sipping coffee at the bar.

Iranian women call for action on gang-rapes

August 1, 2011

As a human rights worker I am used to hearing shocking stories. However, a recent spate of gang-rapes and sexual assaults in Iran highlights increasing violence against women in a country where women’s rights are already under extreme pressure.

Most disturbing of all is the response of Iranian officials to a series of up to six separate, brutal attacks over the past few months.

One senior official even suggested that some of these crimes could have been avoided if the women targeted had adhered to Iran’s strict dress code, or hijab.

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