In Morocco, women cannot work in some sectors (like tourism) if they wear the veil. Princess Lalla Salma — the wife of King Muhammad VI, a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammed and recognized as the Commander of the Faithful — appears in public without a veil.
Contrast that with the silent performances of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s wife, Emine, in Turkey. She apparently shares a religious conception that “a woman’s voice is nakedness.”
I chose the example of Morocco because there are many Moroccan women in Italy who did not wear a veil before coming here but after a few months choose to don it. I asked some of them why. They replied: “To earn the respect of my community. Otherwise, they tell us, we will become like you, like the women you see on television.”
Certainly, we acknowledge that the image of women offered on Italian television, especially in advertising, is not the most edifying. But for the leaders of Islamic communities, this is an excuse to keep Muslim women isolated and therefore under their control. In order to prevent being misguided, these women do not learn our language and they live in isolation. Meanwhile, their husbands work and their children go to school, where they are forced to interact with the world around them.