The Experience of Face Veil Wearers in Europe and the Law, edited by Eva
Brems, positions itself in the midst of a political, cultural, and intimately personal debate enveloping Europe over what is colloquially known as the "burqa ban." Since 2010, Belgium, France, and select regions of the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain have adopted laws prohibiting citizens from covering their faces with "disguises," "masks," and "costumes." Ostensibly, such bans are to
protect the rights of all citizens and improve national security; in practice, they function to prevent practicing Muslim women from wearing garments such as the niqab. Brems takes care to note that these "bans are . . . almost entirely based on outsider experiences and views. The same holds to a large extent for the academic debates on the matter and even for NGO positions." It is
within this space that the work operates. Brems states that her purpose is "to fill a gap in the current literature discussing face veil bans: the gap of the insider perspective." Brems is successful in her goal; the work gives voices to the individuals directly affected by the face veil bans, marrying their narrative with academic criticism of the bans.