The Scarf, the Secular and the State
Published: 29 March 2023
It is not every day that when you ask someone what they did at the weekend they reply that they finished writing a chapter for a book on secularism and the wearing of headscarves in the UK and France, but this is exactly what happened when I asked our fantastic trainee Abigail Champion what she had done at the weekend. Ever keen on the secular view I asked her to tell me about it and well see below for what she had to say:
“In the third year of my Law Degree at the University of Sussex, I decided to pick the Islamic Law module as one of my electives. Not only do I find the Law of other jurisdictions fascinating, but my daughter has a Syrian heritage, and I was keen to learn more about Islam, and Islamic Law, because of this. The assessment for this module was an essay to do with whether secular states can offer a balanced place for Muslim citizens in a system governed by secular law. I really enjoyed learning and writing about this topic. I was thrilled to receive a first in this essay, and even more thrilled when my lecturer asked if I would consider publishing my essay.
Fast-forward a few years and my third-year undergraduate essay has been transformed into a published chapter with further research from both myself and my lecturer. I am now the proud co-author of “Secularism, Islam and Legal Pluralism in Europe: A Case Study on the Use of Headscarf the UK and France”, alongside my lecturer Dr. Ahmad Ghouri, which is a Chapter in Abraham and the Secular – Fracture and Composition, edited by Simone Raudino and Uzma Ashraf Barton published by Palgrave Macmilan”
Abigail completed an LLB (Hons) degree at Sussex University and successfully completed the Legal Practice Course in conjunction with a Masters in 2022, and will be qualifying as a Solicitor in June 2023.
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