Bans or attempts to ban the niqab have traveled global circuits, with disastrous consequences for Muslim women who wear the face veil. These women have evoked a repugnance that insists on erasing them from public spaces. An analysis of niqab bans reveals that: (1) a transnational proliferation of racist methods of regulating Muslim women’s dress occurs through law; (2) they have been initiated by politicians to protect majoritarian values; (3) justifications for bans are based on specious logic; and (4) some are defended using gender equality on the erroneous assumption that women are universally coerced into wearing this garment despite empirical research noting that women wear the niqab as an expression of faith. The treatment of niqab-wearing women requires close attention to the transnational routes of legalized anti-Muslim racism.

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