European culture and Islamic culture have different ethos and both are bound to collide unless there is assimilation and compromise.

Anwar Shaheen of the University of Karachi's Pakistan Study Centre said this here on Thursday on the second day of a two-day international conference on 'Islam in Europe' while speaking on the topic of hijab and burqa in Europe. The seminar was organised by KU's Area Study Centre for Europe in association with the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

Ms Shaheen, who had conducted a survey of Muslim women living in Europe as well as Pakistani scholars to back up her research, said European society was justified in its reaction to Muslim women wearing hijab. She said proponents of the veil considered it a divine commandment while other women faced patriarchal pressure to observe the veil. However, she said many women also wore hijab out of free will.

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