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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 

A handy cut out and keep guide for hacks: Islamic dress.

For all those out there who are still terribly confused about what and what isn't a burqa (also spelled burkha, burka, etc), as Daily Express and Star journalists clearly are, let septicisle solve your problems:

This is a burqa. It's clearly identifiable by how there is not even an opening for the eyes; rather, it has a mesh through which the wearer can see (badly). These are mainly worn in Afghanistan and by the most conservative adherents of Islam, mostly apart from Afghanistan in parts of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The numbers wearing them in this country probably number in the very low hundreds (could even be dozens or lower), if that, with a similar number in France, where the current controversy is brewing.

These are niqabs. They're clearly identifiable by how there is only an opening for the eyes. These are more widely worn than the burqa, across the Sunni Islamic world (the Shia mainly settle for the normal hijab, if any head covering is worn) although again almost only by the more conservative adherents. The numbers wearing them in this country probably number in the low thousands, if that, with a similar number in France, where the current controversy is brewing.

Next time in the handy cut out and keep guide for hacks: what is and what isn't a disease.

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Very useful, cheers!

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