In the Burqa Ban, Italy’s Left and Right Find Something to Agree On

My piece on Italy’s (most likely) upcoming Burqa ban has just been published in Time.

The thing about Italy’s proposed law to ban women from wearing veils that cover their faces is that it’s not clear what difference it would make.

Just like in France or Belgium, which have introduced similar measures, Italy does not have a large population of women who wear the burqa or the niqab, which cover almost the entire body and face. “In my 20 years in Italy, I don’t think I’ve seen ten women who wear the veil,” says Izzeddin Elzir, head of the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy (UCOII), the country’s largest Muslim organization. According to Elzir, most Muslims in Italy subscribe to a school of Islam that doesn’t require women to keep their faces covered. “In summer, there are more, because there are lots of tourists [from Arabic countries],” he says. “But here in Italy, we see few cases.”

Read the rest.