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News & Comment


Recently a new study showed that six out of ten Danes are supporting a ban of burka and niqab in the public space.

Marcus Knuth (Danish Liberal Party) commented on the survey saying regarding the niqab: “…It is women’s oppression, that resembles a social prison.”


The debate of burka and niqab is not new, nor is it surprising. It only takes a quick internet search to see that already in 2010 53% of the Danes were supporting a ban. The issue has however been especially hot over the summer as a result of the European Courts decision to uphold the ban in Belgium with the contradictory argument of it being “a necessity in a democratic society”. So much so for “individual freedom”.

With a ban being closer than ever before, not only in Denmark, but all over the western world, it is important to keep focus in the right place.

While some Muslims start arguing whether niqab is actually wajib or sunnah, and therefore a ban is not posing a real threat to the already pressured Islamic identity, the matter is completely different.

It is not a matter of “rights” or “individual freedom”, it is not a matter of schools of thought or evidences, it is not a matter of personal tendency or adapting to society.

Danish politicians do not care about rights, freedom or the wellbeing of women. According to a survey half of all Danish women have been exposed to violence and 37% have been sexually harassed. Where are all the bans and laws?! Where are the special initiatives and public debates?! Danish politicians do not care for Danish women wholeheartedly and even less for Muslim women. Danish politicians do not care about a piece of fabric used for personal dressing. What they do care about however is attacking Islam in all shapes and sizes. Attacking groups, individuals, ideas, thoughts, texts and symbols.

Niqab, as the hijab are regardless of schools of thought, symbols of submission to Allah (swt). This is why it is under attack and why they feel so eager to ban it. We have to see the big picture. It is an attack on Islam and should be regarded as such from the Muslim communities regardless of personal opinions.  It is a slippery slope of niqab today and hijab tomorrow.

We as Muslims decide what effect these kinds of draconic laws will have. We decide to accept or reject. We decide to bow or to stand. We decide, and Allah swt will be with us.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Junes Kock


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