Starting Anew in 2015

Depending on your vantage point, 2014 was either full of doom, gloom, and Armageddon, or, quite flatly, the idea that people are overly dramatic, the world is not falling apart, and all that has really happened is that the sun has made its grand course around the earth yet again. Whichever side of…

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How do the French and Syrian bans on the niqab differ?

Naturally it is gratifying, for those of us who spend significant amounts of time in the Arab world, to see the region get the recognition it deserves. Last month, it was good to see commentators in Europe seize on Syria and Egypt as examples to be followed. The reason for the praise? Syria’s decision to ban the niqab from university campuses and to bar teachers who wear the niqab from teaching in public schools.

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