The Niqab Debate:
Muhammad ‘Abd al-Haqq
Certainly, are “niqab bans Islamophobic?” is a legitimate question. However we must approach this question from two different angles. Because wearing the niqab is not fard(mandatory) the question must be asked if a niqab ban in a Western non-Muslim country will create a hardship for religious practice for Muslims. In my view it will not. However, the other aspect is whether or not bans on niqab are really a stepping stone to bans on hijab. This is not so far fetched as it seems with some European nations trying to ban zabiha slaughter and many U.S. States proposing “anti-Shari’ah” legislation. In this case these bans are indeed rooted in anti-Muslim attitudes. Then it becomes State-sponsored Islamophobia.
Here is a good video set that presents the debate surrounding the niqab from a Muslim perspective.