The Burqa Affair Across Europe: Between Public and Private Space (Hardback) book cover

The Burqa Affair Across Europe

Between Public and Private Space

Edited by Alessandro Ferrari, Sabrina Pastorelli

© 2013 – Routledge

280 pages

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About the Book

In recent years, the wearing of the full-face veil or burqa/niqab has proved a controversial issue in many multi-cultural European societies. Focussing on the socio-legal and human rights angle, this volume provides a useful comparative perspective on how the issue has been dealt with across a range of European states as well as at European institutional level. In so doing, the work draws a theoretical framework for the place of religion between public and private space. With contributions from leading experts from law, sociology and politics, the book presents a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to one of the most contentious and symbolic issues of recent times.


’This book poses a substantial challenge to those who would limit religious freedom in Europe by banning Muslim women's full-face covering, commonly called burqa. The authors place the legal issues in a broader political, social and cultural context. In so doing, they expose the questionable grounds for banning the burqa in France and Belgium and of proposals elsewhere.’ Jørgen S. Nielsen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark ’This volume is a milestone of legal and sociological research regarding one of the most heated European debates on religion in public space. It follows a most welcome and urgently needed pragmatic approach in accordance with European guarantees of human rights - a benchmark for future reflections.’ Mathias Rohe, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany ’…this book is a useful reference to the regulation of the burqa in Europe, including contributions by scholars who are knowledgeable about the situation in the countries about which they write.’ Journal of Contemporary Religion '… this book will appeal to scholars with an interest in Islam and human rights. Its thorough legal discussion of this controversy in Europe enables the reader to gain a wider perspective than would be afforded by a monograph about a specific national context. On the other hand, it could also be effectively used as a reference text by sociologists hoping to situate their own case-study analyses within a legal framework.' American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences

About the Editors

Alessandro Ferrari teaches Law and Religion and Comparative Religious Laws at the University of Insubria (Como-Varese) and is also a member of the Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités (GSRL-CNRS/École Pratique des Hautes Études-Sorbonne) and of Centre Prisme Politique, Religion, Institutions et Sociétés : Mutations Européennes of Strasbourg. He is the coordinator of the Inter-University project 'New Religious Presences' ( ) and member of the Conferenza Permanente Religioni, Cultura e Integrazione at the Italian Ministry for International Cooperation and Integration. His main research interests focus on the present changes of the right of religious freedom in the globalized context. His latest book is Diritto e Religione nell’Islam Mediterraneo (Law and Religion in Mediterranean Islam) (Il Mulino, Bologna, 2012). Sabrina Pastorelli is Research Fellow at the Institute of International Law - section of Ecclesiastical and Canon Law - University of Milan, Faculty of Law. She is also a member of the Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités (GSRL-CNRS/École Pratique des Hautes Études-Sorbonne) and the Centre Politique, Religion, Institutions et Sociétés : Mutations Européennes (PRISME-CNRS/University of Strasbourg). She teaches sociology of religion and political sociology at the University of Caen. Her research interests include sociology of religion; new religious movements; law and religion in the Europe; religious education; regulation of religious pluralism; state public policy and religion. She is a member of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion (ISSR), the Association internationale des sociologues de langue française (AISLF), the Italian Sociological Association (AIS), the Association for the Sociology of Religion (ASR).

About the Series

Cultural Diversity and Law in Association with RELIGARE

Cultural Diversity and Law in Association with RELIGARE

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Public