AuthorNatasha Bakht
[ ix ]
    book that should be read by everyone who has
opinions on the wearing of the niqab (the full-face veil) and everyone
who is still wondering what position to take. Few non-Muslim Canadians
know much about the beliefs and traditions that underlie the niqab, yet
this has not stopped most of us from adopting strong perspectives. Dis-
cussions about the niqab have a tendency to veer into hot disputes. Polit-
icians, scholars, professors, judges, and media pundits have all grappled
publicly with the question. Within my own circles of feminist thinkers
and activists, there is widespread disagreement. Perspectives range from
fervent criticism of garments perceived as sexist symbols of a patriarchal
religion, to solid support for Muslim women’s spiritual choices. Rarely is
there sucient space for careful ref‌lection and analysis.
Natasha Bakht is a brilliant law and society scholar whom I have
known for over twenty years, during which she has established herself as
a f‌irst-class researcher, distinguished teacher, and highly eective advo-
cate. She is the Shirley Greenberg Chair for Women and the Legal Profes-
sion at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, where she specializes in
the intersection of religious freedom and women’s equality. Although she
does not choose to wear the niqab herself, Bakht has consistently taken
a principled stand in favour of women’s right to do so. She describes

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