gambetta2_Jonathan RaaNurPhoto via Getty Images_hijab Jonathan RaaNurPhoto via Getty Images

Freedom in the Veil

Pandering to nativist sentiment, many European countries have placed restrictions on traditional Muslim headscarves, typically in the name of modernization. But very religious women often decide to wear a veil because signaling their enduring piety makes them feel freer to integrate into secular society.

TURIN/LONDON – During the televised debate between the two candidates for the French presidency on April 20, Marine Le Pen stated: “I am in favor of banning the hijab from public space, as it is, in my opinion, a uniform imposed on women by Islamic fundamentalists.” Emmanuel Macron countered, dismissing that as unconstitutional, and accused her of stoking a civil war.