A Black Veil Over Europe: Are Legislative Prohibitions on Islamic Dress ('Burqa Bans') Justified?
76 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2018 Last revised: 27 May 2018
Date Written: April 2, 2018
Recently in Europe there has been an increase in legislative prohibitions on Islamic dress. These prohibitions, which primarily target headscarves and full-face veils, are colloquially referred to as “burqa bans”. Although “burqa bans” exist in many European countries, this paper specifically looks at examples from Switzerland, Turkey and France, and three resulting European Court of Human Rights cases, Dahlab v Switzerland, Şahin v Turkey, and S.A.S v France. This paper also considers the justifications used to support the respective “burqa bans”, namely secularism, coercion and gender equality, and attempts to ascertain their veracity. This paper concludes that the justifications given do not satisfy the goals they claim to achieve, therefore, the bans are not justifiable.
Keywords: Muslim women, headscarf ban, European Court of Human Rights
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation