With the controversy over religious accoutrements, be they Muslim1 niqabs or Christian crucifixes, one story caught my eye. Banning headscarfs might be unsurprising in a country like France, but what about a predominantly Muslim nation such as Tunisia?

Police are applying with renewed vigour a decree dating back to 1981 which prohibits women from wearing Islamic headscarves in public places.

Under a ban introduced in 1981, women in Tunisia are not allowed to wear Islamic dress in schools or government offices. Those who insist on it face losing their jobs.

Incidentally, that is talking about simple headscarfs—which are completely uncontroversial in the UK—not full face coverings.

1 Now, I’m no imam, but I own a translation of the Koran—and I’ve read it—and I challenge anyone to show me the part where it is required (or even suggested) that women cover their faces in public. I’m pretty sure that it’s a cultural thing rather than religious one.