Turkey, of course, is the only majority Muslim secular state. It lives in constant tension between resurgent political Islam and the principles of secularism. This story has interesting implications for France and Europe in general, where it is still taboo even to admit that Islam has a political aspect that may impinge upon the secular character of the established governments. But Turkey, for all its many faults, doesn’t have that problem. Ataturk established the secular state as an explicit rejection of political Islam. They don’t have to try simultaneously to deny that it exists and fend it off, the way the French seem to think they have to do. From the BBC, with thanks to JScott:
Turkish state universities have the right to ban Muslim headscarves, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has ruled.
It rejected an appeal by a Turkish student who said the ban – and her subsequent exclusion from class – violated her freedom of religion.
Turkey’s government had argued that headscarves violated the secular nature of the state.
Correspondents say the decision could have implications for other countries.