Table of Contents

Introduction. Point of departure.
pt. 1. Turkey. The nature of the headscarf controversy in Turkey : popular discourse.
Understanding a complex history.
The role of the European Court of Human Rights.
pt. 2. Europe and the United States. Anti-Islamic discourses in Europe.
The United States : from melting pot to Islamophobia.
Conclusion. This book deals with an ongoing controversy of the Muslim women's headscarf from the legal and sociological perspective in democratic countries. It depicts headscarf controversy and argues with the interaction of religion/secularism, law/politics, multiculturalism, and gender politics. In recent years, there have been major public policy debates, court decisions and laws about the acceptability of Islamic practices, specifically women and girls wearing a headscarf or "hijab". These has produced concerns in the West and to some extend Muslim secular countries, about how to accept, accommodate, and tolerate the Muslim women's forms of religious observance. It is an interdisciplinary study that compares the legal, sociological and political debates on this issue particularly in Turkey and in various European countries (such as France and Germany), and parallel practices and patterns in the United States. At first glance, the main preoccupation of all these countries is to strike the proper balance between liberal constitutional principles and the accommodation of Islamic practices. Beyond this, there are unacknowledged desires and political ambitions that skilfully manipulated policy pertaining to headscarf issue. This book calls attention to these hidden preoccupations and explores the exclusion of pious Muslim women from the public sphere in the name of human rights, women's rights, equality, secularism, democracy, and liberalism. The book relies on comparative law method, and by so doing highlights some aspects of the headscarf debate that are ignored if scholarship is directed only at a single country.