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A guide to the different types of veil

The "burqa ban" actually refers to the niqab, a veil closely associated with Wahabi traditionalists in the Arabian peninsula. FRANCE 24 looks at the different types of veil worn across the Muslim world.


The hijab (top left): A scarf that covers the hair, ears and neck only, leaving the face visible. The hijab is common across much of the Muslim world where it has replaced traditional headwear such as the Arab “haick”.

The niqab (top right): A full veil covering the whole of the body with a thin slit for the eyes, the niqab is linked to the strongly traditionalist Wahabbi branch of Islam, especially in Saudi Arabia. Some women supplement the niqab with sunglasses and even gloves.

The chador (bottom left): A traditional garment mostly used in rural Iran, the chador is a full-length semicircle of fabric open down the front, which is thrown over the head and held tightly below the chin

The burqa (bottom right): The traditional full veil worn by women in Afghanistan and by Muslim women across the Indian subcontinent. This all-encompassing garb covers the entire head and body with a mesh for the eyes.

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