Oman Scholar Banned from Turkish University
- OMANESE SCHOLAR VICTIM OF HEADSCARF BAN IN TURKEY
Agence France Presse, 10/16/03
An Omanese scholar, invited to take part in a conference in Turkey,
barred from the venue - a university in Istanbul - when she refused
off her headscarf, the Milliyet daily reported Thursday.
The Islamic-style veil is banned in universities and public offices in
mainly Muslim but strictly secular Turkey, where it is regarded as a
statement in favor of political Islam.
The unsuspecting Samira Moosa from Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat
turned up for a conference on communication at Istanbul University,
asked by security guards at the gate to take off her veil...
GERMANY DIVIDED OVER HIJAB
Andreas Tzortzis, Christian Science Monitor, 10/10/03
Having spent the last 15 years of her life wearing the Muslim hijab,
or head scarf, teacher Emine Ozturk can't imagine taking it off in
public, even for just one minute.
But that's exactly what Ms. Ozturk might have to do if she ever wants
to get a teaching job in a Berlin public school.
"It's part of my identity," says this young German of Turkish
descent. "How can I lay my identity at the door of the classroom?"
It is a question on the minds of many here following a decision by
Germany's highest court, allowing teacher Fereshta Ludin to wear her
head scarf in class as long as there are no state laws against it.
Since the decision came down two weeks ago, a majority of German
states, including Berlin, have announced plans to pass such laws...
FIGHTING THE SCARF
New York Times, 10/4/03
The question of whether Muslim women can wear headscarves in European
state schools keeps coming back. Most recently, a French school
barred two girls who covered their heads, while a German court ruled
in favor of a teacher who insisted on wearing her headscarf in class.
Those who raise the issue often couch it as a defense of the sacred
principle of the secular state - that there be no overt religious
symbols in state schools. In our view, this is a false pretext.
Following the dress or dietary codes of one's faith falls under the
rubric of freedom of conscience, so long as the exercise does not
amount to proselytizing or otherwise infringing on the freedoms of
The regulations and their enforcement differ widely from country to
country, from city to city, even from school to school. But the fact
is that any such regulation is inherently discriminatory, since the
targets are likely to be members of faiths that mandate outward,
visible signs. The scarf of a Muslim woman, the kippah of an Orthodox
Jew, or the headknot of a Sikh cannot be concealed. Banning their use
thus becomes a selective attack on a fundamental right, and not a
defense of secularism...
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