Hijab in an Age of Fear
Security, Secularism, and Human Rights
Keywords:Islamic headscarves, Islamaphobia, religious freedom
AbstractIn recent years, Islamic dress has emerged as one of the abiding sites of contention in the relationship between Muslim communities and the State. Specifically, the wearing of Islamic headscarves by women in public spaces has raised questions about secularism, women’s rights, and national identity. This article explores the debates about banning hijab in educational institutions across four jurisdictions: France, the United States, Turkey, and Australia. Through the analysis of various case studies, this article argues that an analysis focussed on human rights reveals common themes in the debate in each country: the fear of terrorism and fundamentalism, insecurity about national identity, and how to reconcile secularism with religious freedom, gender equality, and other human rights
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