University of Amsterdam: Niqab Not An Obstacle to Communication

AMSTERDAM, 16/02/08 – Wearing a headscarf that only shows the eyes through a narrow slit (a niqab) does not have a negative effect on discerning emotions. This conclusion is from a study by the University of Amsterdam from which De Volkskrant Friday quoted.

A film in which a woman told a story and displayed various emotions was shown three times to 119 testees. One group saw the woman’s face; another group saw her wearing a niqab and a third group only saw her eyes from up close. All three films were silent.

According to the researchers, the displayed emotions were well discerned for all three films. In the case of the woman wearing the niqab however, the negative emotions were experienced more intensely. In the film showing only the eyes on the other hand, joy was the emotion recognised to a stronger degree.

Last week, the cabinet announced that face-concealing clothing hinders open communication and is therefore undesirable. Although the cabinet is not introducing a general ban on these items of clothing, it does wish to lay down in behavioural codes that they are not permitted in public transport, schools and in public service.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday February 18, 2008.
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