Turkish Hijab Ban came to be more strictly enforced, women wearing headscarves are not allowed to enter state-controlled areas such as schools, universities, or government offices, growing numbers of these women have been travelling abroad to pursue a university education.
In September 2003 the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in favour of a teacher who wanted to wear an Islamic scarf to school. However, it said states could change their laws locally if they wanted to. At least four German states have gone on to ban teachers from wearing headscarves and in the state of Hesse the ban applies to all civil servants.
September 2004: France
French scarf ban comes into force at beginning of new school year.
The Dutch government considered but abandoned plans to impose a ban on all forms of coverings that obscured the face - from burkas to crash helmets with visors - in public places, saying they disturbed public order and safety. Lawyers said the move would likely be unconstitutional and critics said it would violate civil rights. The government suggested it would instead seek a ban on face-covering veils in schools and state departments, but no legislation has yet been passed.
June 2009: Barack Obama’s Speech in Cairo:
“It is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit – for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We cannot disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism…”
Late 2009: Switzerland
Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said a face-veil ban should be considered if more Muslim women begin wearing them, adding that the veils made her feel "uncomfortable".
13th July 2010: France
France's lower house of parliament overwhelmingly approved a ban on wearing burqa-style Islamic veils. The legislation would forbid face-covering Muslim veils in all public places in France and calls for fines or citizenship classes, or both. The bill also is aimed at husbands and fathers — anyone convicted of forcing someone else to wear the garb risks a year of prison and a fine, with both penalties doubled if the victim is a minor.
26th July 2010: UK
A man who ripped a veil from a Muslim woman's face as she walked though Glasgow has been jailed for two years. Sentencing the man, Sheriff Lindsay Wood told him that what he did was an "absolute disgrace". He said: "The offence you committed was a shameful one. You are a man who has a number of racist convictions and you knew full well how offensive the act would have been to the lady.”
22 MAY 2015
The Dutch cabinet approves a partial ban on face covering Islamic veils on public transport and in public areas. The ban does not apply to wearing the burqa or the niqab on the street, except when there are specific security reasons.
6 December 2016
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, endorses a partial ban on the burqa and the niqab. “The full facial veil is inappropriate and should be banned wherever it is legally possible,” she says.
31 May 2018
The Danish parliament votes to ban garments that cover the face, including Islamic veils such as the niqab or burqa. The bill was presented by the ruling centre-right coalition.
Muslim women won the right to wear the headscarf for identification photos, which was banned in Russia in 1997. The women argued in court that the ban infringed upon their civil liberties, and were backed in this by a number of human rights groups, who also alleged that Russia was fermenting anti-Muslim sentiment to aid its mission against separatists in Chechnya.
Local politicians in northern Italy resurrected old public order laws against the wearing of masks, to stop women from wearing the burka. Some mayors from the anti-immigrant Northern League have also banned the use of Islamic swimsuits.
10th November 2005: ECHR
European Court of Human Rights backs Turkey’s Hijab Ban, the court rejected an appeal by a Turkish woman who argued that the state ban violated her right to an education and discriminated against her. Leyla Sahin had brought the case in 1998 after being excluded from class at Istanbul University. But the judges ruled that the ban was justified to maintain order and avoid giving preference to any religion.
November 2006: UK
Immigration tribunals Chief Mr Justice Hodge issued advice that, “Legal advisers and solicitors may wear the Islamic veil in court unless it interferes with the "interests of justice”. The judiciary were told to use their discretion to interpret the temporary guidance, which covers all courts.
Egypt's highest Muslim authority, Sheikh Mohamed Tantawi, said he will issue an edict against the full women's veils, known as the Niqab.
January 2010: Italy
The north-western town of Novara is one of several local authorities that have brought in rules to deter public use of the Islamic veil, passing a by-law in January 2010.
July 2010: Syria
Syria bans face veils at universities. Female students wearing a full face veil will be barred from Syrian University campuses, the country’s minister of higher education has said.
Ghiyath Barakat was reported to have said that the practice ran counter to the academic values and traditions of Syrian universities. His ruling, published on the All4Syria website, was said to be in response to requests from students and parents.
11th April 2011: France
France has made it illegal for Muslim women to cover their faces. Any women caught wearing the face veil will receive a fine and will be asked to take part in citizenship lessons.
18 JANUARY 2016
The former UK Prime Minister David Cameron says he will back institutions with “sensible rules” over Muslims wearing full- face veils, but rules out a full public ban. “In our country people should be free to wear what they like,” Cameron says but adds
When you are coming into contact either with different institutions or, for instance, you are in court, or you need to see someone’s face at the border, then I would always back the authorities or the institutions that have put in place proper and sensible rules.
30 January 2017
Austria’s ruling coalition agrees to prohibit full-face veils such as the burqa and niqab in courts and schools. It also pledges to investigate banning headscarves for women employed in public services, in a move designed to hold the ruling coalition together by placating the anti-immigration Freedom party.
5 August 2018
MP Boris Johnson sparks contoversery over the comments he made in an article regarding “the burqa is oppressive and ridiculous- but no reason to ban it”
The article does not mention the ongoing furore over his previous week’s offering relating to the issue of the Muslim head coverings, over which Ms May admonished him and demanded he apologise, something he is yet to do.
A Muslim woman lost a high-profile court case against a supermarket chain in Denmark after she had been fired for wearing a headscarf at work in 2001. The court ruled that her contract contained a dress code banning headgear.
February 2004: France
-French parliament voted in favour of a new law to ban the wearing of Islamic headscarves in schools. It forbids state school students from wearing "conspicuous" religious apparel. Jewish skullcaps, Sikh turbans and large Christian crosses are also banned.
October 2006: UK
In the UK, comments by Jack Straw, MP started a national debate over the wearing of the "veil" (Niqab). This was further inflamed by extensive media coverage of the case of Aishah Azmi, a teaching assistant from West Yorkshire, who lost her appeal against suspension from her job for wearing the Niqab while teaching English to young children whose first language is different. It was decided that being unable to see her face prevented the children from learning effectively. Azmi argued that it was helping the children understand different people's beliefs.
Turkey's constitution was amended to ease a strict ban at universities, allowing headscarves that were tied loosely under the chin. Headscarves covering the neck and all-enveloping veils were still banned.
The governing party, with its roots in Islam, said the ban meant many girls were being denied an education. But the secular establishment said easing it would be a first step to allowing Islam into public life.
8th October 2009: Egypt
Egypt's top Islamic school and the world's leading school of Sunni Islam, al-Azhar, banned the wearing of the Niqab in classrooms and dormitories of all its affiliate schools and educational institutes.
29th April 2010: Belgium
The Belgian Chamber of Representatives adopted a law prohibiting people to wear "attire and clothing masking the face in such a way that it impairs them to be recognizable". The penalty for violating this directive can run from a penalty of up to 14 days imprisonment and a 250 euro fine. Even though there is no direct mention of the burqa or Niqab, this decision practically does prohibit its use in public spaces. This new law has spurred a lot of anger amongst members of the traditional Islamic community.
July 2010: UK
Kettering Conservative MP Philip Hollobone has introduced a private member's bill trying to stop Muslim women covering their faces in public
1 JULY 2014
The European Court of Human Rights upholds France’s Burqa ban. The judges say preservation of a certain idea of “living together” is the “legitimate aim” of the French authorities.
18 August 2016
France’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, defends municipal bans on body covering burkini swimwear designed for Muslim women after mayors impose burkini bans in several seaside towns including Cannes, Villeneuve-Loubet, and Sisc on the island of Corsica.
14 March 2017
In its first decision on the headscarf issue the European court of justice rules that employers can bar staff from wearing visible religious symbols. But the court also rules that customers cannot simply demand that workers remove headscarves if the company has no policy barring religious symbols.