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Society

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Wearing A Veil In Britain - 21 August 2014
Many young Muslim women living in Britain chose to wear a headscarf despite figures showing rising violence against visibly identifiable Muslims. In spite of a common view that young Muslim women are forced to wear veils by their families, data and anecdotes point to the opposite in Muslim minority countries where it is often the case that the women themselves choose to cover up.
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Sundas' grandmother, Bashir (L) wishes her luck before her Islamic wedding blessing held at home in Walthamstow,...
London, United Kingdom
Sundas' grandmother wishes her luck before her Islamic wedding blessing held at home in Walthamstow,...
Sundas' grandmother, Bashir (L) wishes her luck before her Islamic wedding blessing held at home in Walthamstow, east London November 16, 2013. Sundas started wearing a headscarf aged 18. She faced a lot of opposition, particularly from her mother, who doesn't cover her head and didn't like her strict interpretation of Islam. Her parents thought it would make her less attractive. Sundas says, "I was determined to wear it nonetheless as I had a conviction in my heart that I wanted to please God instead of people. I don't have such a strict interpretation of covering now, instead I focus more on modesty and moderate covering." REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Sundas wears a Pakistani wedding veil ahead of her traditional Islamic wedding blessing held at home...
London, United Kingdom
Sundas wears a Pakistani wedding veil ahead of her traditional Islamic wedding blessing held at home...
Sundas wears a Pakistani wedding veil ahead of her traditional Islamic wedding blessing held at home in Walthamstow, east London November 16, 2013. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Shanza takes photographs during her sister's traditional Islamic wedding blessing held at home in Walthamstow,...
London, United Kingdom
Shanza takes photographs during her sister's traditional Islamic wedding blessing held at home in Walthamstow,...
Shanza takes photographs during her sister's traditional Islamic wedding blessing held at home in Walthamstow, east London November 16, 2013. Shanza and her sister Sundas both faced a lot of opposition to their wearing a veil, particularly from their mother, who doesn't cover her head and didn't like this strict interpretation of Islam. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Sundas, her mother Naheed (C), and sister Shanza (R), pose for a photograph after an interview with Reuters,...
London, United Kingdom
Sundas, her mother Naheed, and sister Shanza, pose for a photograph after an interview with Reuters,...
Sundas, her mother Naheed (C), and sister Shanza (R), pose for a photograph after an interview with Reuters, at home in Walthamstow, east London November 16, 2013. Sundas and Shanza started wearing the headscarf or hijab in opposition to their parents' wishes, particularly from their mother, who doesn't cover her head and didn't like their strict interpretation of Islam. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Brenda talks while her daughters eat ice cream in Westfield, east London October 30, 2013. Brenda, who...
London, United Kingdom
Brenda talks while her daughters eat ice cream in Westfield, east London
Brenda talks while her daughters eat ice cream in Westfield, east London October 30, 2013. Brenda, who is originally from Mexico, converted from Catholicism when she came to London. Brenda has always lived a strictly religious life. She thought about becoming a nun before she realised she wanted children. She says "I know I'm in a non-Muslim country and so I try to respect the rules. Sometimes people say nice things about my children or they smile at me and I try to smile back at them. I know they can't see my face but I hope they know I'm smiling with my eyes." REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Brenda gets her eyes tested in east London March 26, 2014. Brenda who is originally from Mexico converted...
London, United Kingdom
Brenda gets her eyes tested in east London
Brenda gets her eyes tested in east London March 26, 2014. Brenda who is originally from Mexico converted from Catholicism when she came to London. Brenda has always lived a strictly religious life. She thought about becoming a nun before she realised she wanted children. She says "I know I'm in a non-Muslim country and so I try to respect the rules. Sometimes people say nice things about my children or they smile at me and I try to smile back at them. I know they can't see my face but I hope they know I'm smiling with my eyes." REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Youth worker Sumreen, 18, teaches children a nasheed or Islamic religious song, at a Islamic youth centre...
London, United Kingdom
Youth worker Sumreen teaches children a nasheed or Islamic religious song, at a Islamic youth centre...
Youth worker Sumreen, 18, teaches children a nasheed or Islamic religious song, at a Islamic youth centre in Leyton, east London November 17, 2013. Sumreen first decided to wear the headscarf after a driver shouted racist abuse at her. She said "I'm going to stand out whatever I do, so I might as well wear the headscarf." Reuters photographer Olivia Harris took portraits of a range of Muslim women in Britain and asked them why they chose to wear a hijab or veil. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Sanaa, 10, and her sister Israa, 7, get ready for Islamic Saturday school in Leyton, east London November...
London, United Kingdom
Sanaa and her sister Israa get ready for Islamic school in Leyton, east London
Sanaa, 10, and her sister Israa, 7, get ready for Islamic Saturday school in Leyton, east London November 9, 2013. Sanaa wears the hijab on Saturday mornings when she attends an Islamic school and occasionally wears the hijab for school. Dalila, Sanaa's mother, says "she may start to wear the headscarf every day next year. Sanaa will decide for herself when she's ready to wear it." REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Sanaa, 10, puts on her hijab as she gets ready for Islamic Saturday school in Leyton, east London November...
London, United Kingdom
Sanaa puts on her hijab as she gets ready for Islamic school in Leyton, east London
Sanaa, 10, puts on her hijab as she gets ready for Islamic Saturday school in Leyton, east London November 9, 2013. Sanaa wears the hijab on Saturday mornings when she attends Islamic school and occasionally wears the hijab for school. Dalila, Sanaa's mother, says "she may start to wear the headscarf every day next year. Sanaa will decide for herself when she's ready to wear it every day." REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Sanaa, 10, and her sister Israa, 7, get ready for Islamic school in Leyton, east London November 9, 2013....
London, United Kingdom
Sanaa and her sister Israa get ready for Islamic school in Leyton, east London
Sanaa, 10, and her sister Israa, 7, get ready for Islamic school in Leyton, east London November 9, 2013. Sanaa wears the hijab on Saturday mornings when she attends Islamic Saturday school and occasionally wears the hijab for school. Dalila, Sanaa's mother, says "she may start to wear the headscarf every day next year. Sanaa will decide for herself when she's ready to wear it every day." REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Ameera, 12, waits to go ice skating in east London March 8, 2014. Ameera first wore the hijab as part...
London, United Kingdom
Ameera waits to go ice skating in east London
Ameera, 12, waits to go ice skating in east London March 8, 2014. Ameera first wore the hijab as part of her primary school uniform. She started to wear it full time age 9 because most of her friends wore the hijab. Her mother would tell her "You don't have to wear it. You're still young!" She loves to wear the hijab and has as many as 60 or 70 different scarves. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Ameera, 12, ice skates in east London March 8, 2014. Ameera first wore the hijab as part of her primary...
London, United Kingdom
Ameera ice skates in east London
Ameera, 12, ice skates in east London March 8, 2014. Ameera first wore the hijab as part of her primary school uniform. She started to wear it full time age 9 because most of her friends wore the hijab. Her mother would tell her "You don't have to wear it. You're still young!" She loves to wear the hijab and has as many as 60 or 70 different scarves. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Madiha, 12, and Afsha, 11, pose for a picture outside London Mosque in west London November 1, 2013....
London, United Kingdom
Madiha and Afsha pose for a picture outside London Mosque in west London
Madiha, 12, and Afsha, 11, pose for a picture outside London Mosque in west London November 1, 2013. Madiha and Afsha started to wear the hijab around the age of 8. They wear the hijab for religious observance, modesty and to protect themselves. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Yasmin (L), 16, pushes Hana (C), 16, on a swing after finishing a GCSE exam near their school in Hackney,...
London, United Kingdom
Yasmin pushes Hana on a swing after finishing a GCSE exam near their school in Hackney, east London
Yasmin (L), 16, pushes Hana (C), 16, on a swing after finishing a GCSE exam near their school in Hackney, east London June 6, 2013. Hana started wearing her headscarf full time aged 12. She was already wearing it at school and her family supported her so it was easy for her to make the decision. She says if felt like nothing had changed except her relationship with God. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
BRITAIN-MUSLIM/VEILS
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August 21, 2014
Yasmin (2nd L), 16, Hana (C), 16, and their friends walk in the park after finishing a GCSE exam near...
London, United Kingdom
Yasmin, Hana and their friends walk in the park after finishing a GCSE exam near their school in Hackney,...
Yasmin (2nd L), 16, Hana (C), 16, and their friends walk in the park after finishing a GCSE exam near their school in Hackney, east London June 6, 2013. Hana started wearing her headscarf full time aged 12. She was already wearing it at school and her family supported her so it was easy for her to make the decision. She says if felt like nothing had changed except her relationship with God. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
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