European Court To Rule On Religious Classes In Turkey

Two Alevi Turks have brought a case before the European Court against compulsory religion lessons in Turkish schools. They claim the religion courses they must take have a distinctive Sunni Muslim perspective and this violates articles of the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing liberty of faith in education. They also seek removal of all compulsory religious classes since they violate the rights of non-Sunni Muslims. The Turkish government argues the classes are no about religion, per se, but simply provide information about culture and morals. It is expected the court’s decision will have an impact throughout the European Union.

Hopefully, the court will strike a blow for the right of atheists and those who are not of a dominant religious group. The case also highlights how within the Muslim religion there are many groups and sects.