New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. $ 55.00 (hardcover) The Headscarf Controversy Hilal Elver’s The Headscarf Controversy is a brave and informative account of Islamic headscarf debates in Turkey, Europe, and the United States. Through a detailed analysis of political and legal controversies involving Muslim women’s veiling, the book reveals the disturbingly anti-democratic turn that many secular democracies and their judicial institutions have taken in their attempts to prohibit the headscarf in various public domains. The result of such repressive legislation and general anti-Islam rhetoric has been the social and economic marginalization of hundreds of thousands of Muslims, including more than 60% of women in Turkey. As Elver points out the perspectives of pious women themselves who wear headscarves are conspicuously absent in all of the relevant political and legal debates. Of the Turkish case, especially, Elver argues that the national model of secularism is incompatible with religious freedom and minimum standards of liberal democracy. In addition to presenting domestic policies, the book also examines the role of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in failing to protect Muslim minorities by merely reinforcing domestic political fears of Islam. The ECHR and its shaping of European legal frameworks
Sociology of Islam – Brill
Published: Apr 30, 2014
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