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ISBN: 9781552660829-05

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In Your Face

Legislative Prohibitions of the Niqab

From: In Your Face


This chapter begins with a brief global survey of legal proscriptions of Muslim women’s face veils, while Part II closely examines Canadian attempts to prohibit face veiling through law and policy. In Part III, the harmful political, social, and economic consequences of niqab bans are examined, with a focus on the detrimental effects of such exclusionary laws and practices on niqab-wearing women’s capacity to enact belonging.



Natasha Bakht

Natasha Bakht is a full professor of law at the University of Ottawa and the Shirley Greenberg Chair for Women and the Legal Profession. She has taught courses in family law; criminal law; children and the law; the law and policy of multiculturalism; and women, religion, and law. She was called to the bar of Ontario in 2003 and served as a law clerk to Justice Louise Arbour at the Supreme Court of Canada. Her legal scholarship explores the intersection between religious freedom and women’s equality. She served as the English language editor-in-chief of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law from 2014 to 2020. Natasha’s legal activism includes involvement with the National Association of Women and the Law and the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). She was named one of the top fifty people in city by Ottawa Life Magazine (2009), received a Femmy Award by International Women’s Day Ottawa for being a thought leader in the National Capital Region (2017), and received the South Asian Bar Association’s Legal Excellence Award (2019).