21 December 2003

France, Turkey and headscarves

This was fairly predictable: "Thousands Protest in Paris Against Muslim Veil Ban." In contrast to those viewing the issue as one of religious freedom, Amir Taheri believes that too much is being made of it, that few muslim girls in France actually wear the headscarf, and that those who do so are coerced by islamist gangs.

In the meantime, westerners tend to forget that there is a predominantly muslim country that also bans headscarves in public: Turkey, where overtly religious symbols have been banned since Mustafa Kemal founded the modern Turkish Republic on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923.

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