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Friends often ask me whether I object to wearing a headscarf when I visit relatives in Muslim countries. It is, I admit, a subject of some controversy. Jack Straw laid into the niqab, which covers most of the face, in  2006 when he asked constituents to unveil themselves, at least partially, when talking to him. Channel 4’s Lyndsey Hilsum felt impelled to defend her feminist principles when she appeared on Channel 4 news swathed in a headscarf so that she could file from Iran.

The fact that many in the west link the hijab or niqab to oppression annoys many…

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