COVID-19 Face Mask Leads to Less Racism against Irish Muslim Women

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, people worldwide have been forced to wear face masks to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As face covering becomes the norm, Muslims in Ireland have reported fewer cases of discrimination and racism against Muslim women who wear the face veil.

“A lot of rules and regulations that have come with COVID were based on social distancing,” Sara Geraldine Rasool, a community representative on the Laois Joint Policing Committee, told Leinster Express.

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“The way that Muslim women dressed was condemned or we were even fined for covering our faces and hands. During COVID and the social distancing we did not have such problems.

“There was of Muslim ladies who would have their faces covered who would have been harassed. But with the COVID, they have been more relaxed and comfortable because it is normal and ok to cover your face and hands.”

Niqabi Muslim women now feel more accepted in the Irish community.

“This has made it a lot easier for Muslims in Ireland. It is not shunned upon anymore,” said Rasool.

“We feel less harassment we feel less racial abuse and that is positive.”

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Islamic View on Niqab

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not just a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

As for niqab, the majority of Muslim scholars believe that a woman is not obliged to cover face or hands.

An earlier fatwa from Fatwa House said that “It is not obligatory for a Muslim woman to cover her face. 

Niqab falls under “permissible acts” (mubaahat); a woman is rewarded for wearing it but not punished for abstaining from it. A woman fulfills her religious duty concerning her dress by wearing the hijab.