December 31, 2003
The New York Times

Muslim Leader Says France Has Right to Prohibit Head Scarves


CAIRO, Dec. 30 -- The French government and the leader of the Muslim world's most prestigious center of Sunni Islamic learning found common ground on Tuesday on a contentious French proposal that would stop Muslim girls from wearing head scarves in French state schools.

The grand sheik of Al Azhar, Muhammad Sayed Tantawi, told reporters that although wearing the head scarf, or hijab, was a religious duty, governments of non-Muslim countries had the right to pass any laws they liked.


Dr. Sherif Abdel Azeem, "Women In Islam Versus Women In The Judaeo-Christian Tradition," The Wisdom Fund, 1995

"Lebanese Shi'ite slams Sunni support for France over headscarf ban," Utusan Melayu, January 3, 2004

Yamin Zakaria, "A Short Step From The Veil To The Bikini,", January 3, 2004

Khaled M. Batarfi, "The French War on Islam," Arab News, January 4, 2004

Cheryl Benard, "French tussle over Muslim head scarf is positive push for women's rights," Christian Science Monitor, January 5, 2004

Diana Pinto, "The long, bloody path that led to French secularism," International Herald Tribune, January 7, 2004

WIll Hutton, "Why the West is wary of Muslims," The Observer, January 11, 2004

Kate Connolly, "Nuns defend habits in row over Islam scarf ban," The Telegraph, January 16, 2004

Catherine Field, "French headscarf ban set to misfire," New Zealand Herald, February 3, 2004

Leader, "A threat to no one," The Guardian, February 11, 2004

[The Islamic state? A contradiction in terms.

Jihad? Far too much emphasis these days on military action.

A requirement that women wear a veil? A quaint leftover from pre-Muslim times that is not mandated by Islam.--Daniel Williams, "Unveiling Islam: Author Challenges Orthodox Precepts," Washington Post, March 7, 2005]

[For the extreme right, the young activist is a political provocateur, an agent of Islamic fundamentalism bent on infiltrating the seat of Danish democracy. To many on the left, Ms Abdol-Hamid is also problematic, personifying through her dress the reactionary repression of women and an illiberal religious agenda that should have no place in her leftwing "red-green" alliance of socialists and environmentalists.--Ian Traynor, "Feminist, socialist, devout Muslim: woman who has thrown Denmark into turmoil," Guardian, May 16, 2007]

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