Thursday, November 10, 2005

In Eurabia

The other day, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan blamed the riots in France on the fact that they had banned girls from wearing the headscarf in public schools. Today, it seems, the European Union Court has approved the Turkish ban on girls wearing the headscarf in public schools:

Turkey can ban Islamic headscarves in universities, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.

The court rejected an appeal by a Turkish woman who argued that the state ban violated her right to an education and discriminated against her.

Leyla Sahin had brought the case in 1998 after being excluded from class at Istanbul University.
But the judges ruled that the ban was justified to maintain order and avoid giving preference to any religion.

Although overwhelmingly Muslim, Turkey is a secular republic and the Islamic headscarf is banned in all universities and official buildings.

The BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Istanbul says the verdict will have a major impact as more than 1,000 other women from Turkey have filed similar applications.
'Extremist movements'

According to the court's ruling, which is final, the headscarf ban is based on the Turkish constitution's principles of secularism and equality.

In a society where men and women are equal, it said, a ban on religious attire such as the headscarf was justified on university premises.

"The court did not lose sight of the fact that there were extremist political movements in Turkey which sought to impose on society as a whole their religious symbols and conception of a society founded on religious precepts," the court's ruling added.

I have three thoughts on this.

1) Erdogan had better prepare for the inevitable riots, huh?

2) The United States doesn't have a ban on the headscarf, so I guess we are more openminded than both Turkey and France.

3) It sure is curious that the European Court is ruling on the laws of a nation which is not even a part of the European Union.