20 August 2007

fashionable religion

while abdullah gul, turkey's foreign minister and presidential candidate is at present pledging to be an 'impartial president', one news article notes that "it is his wife's new headscarf that may make all the difference". hayrunissa gul, who once challenged turkey's ban on headscarves before the european court of human rights, is now pondering ways to 'modernize' her headscarf to make it less contentious.


63% of turkish women wear a headscarf. and yet headscarves are banned in all government institutions, including universities. so i guess there are few women in government or in universities... how sad. i do not understand why wearing a headscarf is equated with being anti secular. secularism relates to the separation of religion and government in public affairs, but when did it begin to mean that you cannot practice a religion while being a civil servant? or is it only when the religion in practice is islam that there is a problem?

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