Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

ECHR Decision re Religious Headscarves

According to this story, the European Court of Human Rights has "rejected an appeal by a Turkish student barred from attending an Istanbul university wearing a head scarf and said the ban was not discriminatory."

"In its decision, the Strasbourg-based court said that 'measures taken in universities to prevent certain fundamentalist religious movements from pressuring students who do not practice the religion in question, or those belonging to another religion, can be justified.' The judges also said bans approved in the name of the separation of church and state could be considered 'necessary in a democratic society.'"

I have not read the full opinion but -- at first blush -- the Court's willingness to authorize this burden on Muslim believers, on (what appears to be) the ground that the mere presence of headscarf-wearing Muslims in school will "pressure" other students, is troubling.



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