Ottawa law professor wins award for book about niqab women in Canada

Bakht was impressed with the ‘deep beliefs of women, that you are going to wear this garment that is going to make you look so different, and subject yourself to so much racism, and so much negativity and violence in the streets, and so much. misunderstanding – but you do it anyway.

The book also examines popular arguments why women should not wear the niqab in public places, including courtrooms, and examines legislative bans (e.g., Quebec’s Bill 21) of the niqab in public spaces and other public contexts.

Bakht’s own background informed his choice of subject. She grew up in Toronto, the daughter of Indian immigrants, but of mixed religious and cultural background: her father was from a Muslim and Urdu-speaking family, while her mother was Hindu and Bengali. This type of mixed marriage was still unusual when her parents got married, and they chose to marry in the UK rather than India, where they feared their marriage would not be well received, Bakht says.

Her parents did a great job, she says, showing the importance of having respect for people and that “differences are a part of life. But it’s how you navigate it ”and have respectful conversations that matter. His parents didn’t use words like “tolerance,” which Bakht calls “a bit of a low bar; we want to be respectful [and] try to get to know other people.

Her parents also instilled in her the importance of having “a well-balanced and well-balanced life”, and encouraged her artistic as well as academic interests. Bakht practiced dance, which she pursued into adulthood: Bharata Natyam, a classical dance technique from South India, as well as Indian contemporary dance, and she is currently Artist in Residence at the ‘Ottawa Dance Directive.

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