The article addresses the use of notions of gender equality and
non-discrimination in the discussions concerning the practice of Islamic veiling
by the European Court of Human Rights as well as by French authorities in
relation to the recent adoption of the law banning full face veils in public
spaces in France. The author argues that the use of the rhetoric of gender
equality without the required knowledge and understanding of the justifications
for and discussions about this practice existing within Islam is in both cases
very inadequate and leads to results opposite to those they intended to promote.
Based on insights into the discussions of Muslims about the practice of veiling
the author makes some proposals for a more adequate approach to this practice
both from the point of view of women’s status as well as from the point of view
of relationship between Islam and the West.