Whether Angel or Devil: Law's Knowing and Unknowing of Veiled Muslim Women in the Case of R v. N.S.

Public Deposited
Resource Type
  • In this thesis, I examine the recent Canadian Supreme Court case of R v. N.S., wherein a woman sought to have her right to wear a face-veil while testifying affirmed by the Court, under her Charter rights to freedom of religion. This case involves questions of religious freedom and fair trial rights, the rights and roles of sexual assault victims and witnesses, and the bounds of accommodation and toleration. I argue that the discourse in the case, from legal actors such as counsel for N.S. and the accuseds, Crown attorneys, and the justices of the Court, operates as a lens through whichconceptions of identity, otherness, nationhood, and veiled Muslim women become refracted and known. Ultimately, I claim that these forms of knowledge not only construct and reinscribe binary modes of thinking about veiled Muslim women, but also allow for and result in the eliding of N.S.’s subjectivity and agency.

Thesis Degree Level
Thesis Degree Name
Thesis Degree Discipline
Rights Notes
  • Copyright © 2013 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2013


In Collection: