This reporter has just visited the battle front at Bagozici University where combatants eye one another with hats and head coverings in hand prepared to launch a derby or shawl into the direction of opponents. The university faculty has made clear it will not allow women to enter their sacred classes wearing any hair covering like the chador and even those who try to circumvent rules and regulations by wearing hats are considered to be criminals out to disrupt law and order in the university. School administrators struck a blow for freedom by denying women the right to attend classes wearing a headscarf since it is well known that such head coverings essentially cover up religious strategies to end freedom of speech in universities.
Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that wearing the headscarf violates the nation’s constitution. This writer is not Turkish and is Jewish but quite aware of the historic background surrounding the ban on religious symbols in Turkish education institutions. However, we live in the 21st century at a time of vast economic dislocation and ongoing battles to create a peaceful Middle East. Perhaps, it is time to put aside the famous headscarf issue and just let one’s hair let out. It is doubtful if free speech will end in Turkish universities if some of the speakers are wearing a headscarf. In fact, allowing them to wear the headscarf reinforces the right of all Turkish people to adhere to their own religious and cultural beliefs. Who knows, maybe the Armenians can finally get the rest of the nation to acknowledge what happened to their ancestors and maybe Kurds can finally get freedom of speech.
An historian a hundred years from now will undoubtedly shake her head in bewilderment in reading issues we human deemed of great importance in 2009. Among the most hotly debated issues facing a world in which there is famine, war, and destruction, is the presence of something on top of the head of a woman. It reminds one of the classic “hair battles” of the 1960s in which leaders of nations had to take a stand regarding the exact length of hair that fell within the domain of being proper attire. Three Danish lawyers entered a court room wearing a headscarf to protest current discussions in Parliament over a law that would ban political or religious symbols in a court of law. Janus Malcolm Peterson said he wore the headscarf because; “We trust that the judges understand how they should be dressed in court without introducing legislation about it.”
The Judge, to his credit, ignored this childish display of pique over nothing. If the issue is how does one dress in a court of law, then judges ordinarily make such decisions. Of course, it is ridiculous for parliaments to have such discussions, but there is a point in banning all displays of religion in a secular court of law. The entire matter is a storm in a teacup and much ado about nothing. How about dealing with poverty for a few moments?
Posted in Europe, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Islam, Multicultural, Muslims, Politics, World News
Tagged Denmark, headscarf, Judge, lawyers