Freedom Of Religion Essay

Freedom Of Religion Essay-81
Many non-Muslim Europeans demand the “integration of Muslims” and the end of Muslim women’s “oppression” symbolised by the hijab; many Muslims (including women) respond by rejecting an oppressive stereotype and asking for a reform of citizenship laws as a way to integrate. Many Muslims across Europe are also opposed to niqabs and burqas and worried about creeping Salafi fashions that are alien to the cultural traditions (western European, Turkish, Moroccan, Egyptian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Somali…) of most Muslims in Europe. Everyone Has Complete Freedom Of Thought Religion Essay.

Many non-Muslim Europeans demand the “integration of Muslims” and the end of Muslim women’s “oppression” symbolised by the hijab; many Muslims (including women) respond by rejecting an oppressive stereotype and asking for a reform of citizenship laws as a way to integrate.

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They were given the force of international law by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), agreed in 1966.

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion is guaranteed by Article 18 of the ICCPR.

Perhaps then this is a good moment to disentangle some of the “burqa debate’s” many threads, in part by bringing to bear some of the detailed research I have been conducting into the issue of Muslim women’s dress and the wider question of “Muslim integration” across several European countries (see “Europe’s Muslim women: potential, aspirations and challenges”, King Baudouin Foundation, 2008).

The evidence that the burqa and other coverings are increasingly becoming a matter of public discussion, emotion, regulation and legislation in Europe is widespread.

At the same time, Belgium’s internal political divisions have come into play in relation to the issue; the lower house of parliament voted in 2010 for a bill to prohibit clothes that do not allow the wearer to be identified (including the burqa and niqab), but a governmental crisis halted the bill before it could become law. The burqa, the hijab and the niqab may have come to be merged in the European psyche, yet these three pieces of cloth are – technically, stylistically and symbolically – completely different things, which individually look and are worn in many variations across Muslim-majority countries.

The burqa covers the full body, with an embroidered opening for the eyes; the niqab is a veil of different colours, often black, covering the nose and the mouth only; the hijab is a scarf covering the head, loose or tight, of all sorts of colours (for instance black in Iran, bright in Malaysia, patterned in Turkey), and wrapped and knotted in different fashions under the neck or behind the head; the jilbab is normally a dark long dress or cloak, going from the head to the feet, usually covering other clothes underneath.

The 335-1 result sounds overwhelming, but the bill remains highly divisive in the country; several parties (including the socialist, green and communist) abstained from voting; France’s council of state has already (in May 2010) issued an “unfavourable opinion” about a total ban of the burqa in public spaces, which it deemed legally “unfounded”; the senate (upper house) will examine the issue in September; and France’s constitutional council too may be called on give a ruling.

Even after that, opponents of the measure could in the event it passes have recourse to the European Court of Human Rights.

Freedom of expression is protected by Article 19 of (ICCPR).

Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.


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