Greenbelt Interfaith News
    World News

    December 1997

    U.S. and Turkey Differ in Attitudes Toward Islamic Headscarves
    Islamic Voice

    Even as the US Equal Employment Opportunities Commission recently reinstated a Muslim worker wearing hijab to her job, Turkey's military-backed government is introducing restrictions on wearing headscarves in several universities.

    According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) a Muslim receptionist was refused permission to wear hijab (headscarves) by a firm. The Commission held it a discriminatory act based on one's religion and ordered her restitution.

    According to IINA, Dean of Istanbul University Bulund Barkada announced that the faculties in his university will refuse admission to all females who cover their hair with a scarf in accordance with Islamic dress stipulations. He stressed that the Turkish Constitution forbids women wearing hijab from entering university premises. The decision is likely to be enforced on several faculty heads who wear hijab. They will risk losing their jobs if they do not comply.

    The reaction against the bans is growing intense. The military wing of the National Security Council is likely to force the civil wing of the Council to accept these decisions in the first scheduled meeting of the Council. Meanwhile, the right wing parties which constitute more than 80 per cent of the parliamentary deputies are expected to oppose the proposed legislation. Motherland Party leader Mohammad Kagaliyar said no member of his party would support such legislation. True Path Party leader Ewaz Koddmeer described the proposed rules as madness.

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