Due To The Niqab Ban I Am Are Not Permitted To Travel To Many Parts of The World

Being a British Muslim woman, I am limited in my travel options due to the ban on the niqab in many countries. Recent travels have taken me to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. My current circumstances forced me to return last week. Before considering travelling overseas, I must type into Google “Can you wear a niqab in Sweden” and quite frankly I find it quite exhausting and discriminatory since everyone had their faces covered during the Covid. Can you see the hypocrisy here? Covering your face is acceptable as long as it is not for religious reasons. What is the logic behind this?

Following my return to the UK last week after spending several weeks abroad, I am eager to travel again. While seated in a Starbucks in Birmingham city centre just now, I typed “which countries have banned the niqab” and found a WIKI page dedicated to this topic. According to Wiki, the following countries have banned the niqab:


Several Muslim countries have also adopted a ban on the niqab, including


Several African countries have also banned the niqab

And the Republic of the Congo

In Asia-Pacific

Sri Lanka

For me, the list includes many of the countries I wish to visit. I have been deprived of the opportunity to travel across the globe. As a result, my travel options are limited.

Recently, I had the experience of being given a tough time by the police and airport staff in Turkey. Being constantly perceived as a threat was challenging and frustrating. Last week at Istanbul airport, as I was boarding my flight, my hand luggage was emptied by two members of staff swiped all my belongings for chemical weapons using a wipe. Yes, you read that correctly. Pegasus Airlines disturbingly discriminated against me. Their staff even asked me why I had more than one camera. Then I explained that I am a photojournalist. Her expression conveyed the message. I was not believed. It is not unusual for me to receive such a response.

Due to discrimination, Muslim women such as myself have a difficult time obtaining employment opportunities, and now you are restricting my travel options as well. Having suffered so much as a result of this never-ending cycle of discrimination, I may at some point write another article on the subject.

In my opinion, the introduction of a niqab ban creates barriers for Muslim women throughout the world. Women should be able to wear whatever they choose, whether it be a skirt or a niqab. Policing women’s bodies and what they are permitted to wear poses a number of challenges. This includes discriminating against an already marginalized group. It is often seen that Muslim women are seen as threats or oppressed women. The imposition of a niqab ban in your country contributes to that stereotypical view of Muslim women.

Many women who wear a niqab are educated with degrees and doctorates. Perhaps if the world focused on this issue rather than the narrative being pushed about Muslim women. There is enough information available for you to become educated about Muslim women. By choosing not to educate yourself, you contribute to the discrimination faced by Muslim women.

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