Khan, Hasina (2018) Attitudes Towards and Experiences of Muslim Women Wearing Differing Levels of Head and, or Face Veil. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This paper examined Muslim and non-Muslim women’s attitudes towards different levels of veiling in the United Kingdom (UK) and in particular, the extent to which discrimination and prejudice against Muslim women increased if she wore the head/face veil or any type of clothing associated with Islam. Although there were a small number of studies that indicated a link between Muslim women wearing the veil and victimisation - based on the visibility of their Muslim identity (Everette et al, 2014; Chakraborti & Zempi 2015; Rhodes, 2016; Zempi, 2014) - there was not a great deal of research on this topic, with most of the literature largely based around the head veil rather than the face veil. Therefore this study aimed to address some of this gap, by providing existing views and feelings about the head and face veil. Specific emphasis was given to exploring the factors that motivated Muslim women to adorn either the head veil or both head and face veil.

The study explores the decision to wear a head veil and/or face veil which is viewed as a Muslim woman fulfilling their religious duties, with some women choosing to make the transition from head veil to face veil when striving for a higher level of religiousness. The head veil is also seen as an embodiment of modesty, virtue and respect. For some of the younger participants, experimenting with different styles of head veil provides a means to engage with the latest fashion trends. Differences, as well as similarities, arise between wearers and non-wearers of the face veil. While the former regard the face veil as a religious requirement, the latter consider it an unnecessary and impractical piece. The findings and analysis reveal most of the women feel the head veil is compatible with British values, however, perceived media bias is associated with a tendency to portray negative and stereotypical images of Muslim women who veil.

Furthermore, Islamophobic incidents seem to increase following ‘terrorist’ attacks carried out by individuals who identify as Muslims. Participants feel Islamophobia is a manifestation of racism and xenophobia. The view that there is an inherent dislike of ‘brown and black people’ only exacerbates the level of discrimination against veiled Muslim women.

FINAL THESIS - KHAN, HASINA.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview


Downloads per month over past year

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email