chapter  4
4 Pages

International Human Rights Law and the Islamic Headscarf: A Short Note on the Positions of the European Court of Human Rights and the Human Rights Committee

This chapter deals with Christian Moe deployed his expertise on Islam to provide a valuable assessment of the Refah case. It agrees with Moe's appraisal of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR's) uncritical endorsement of the misconceptions and pejorative assertions about Islamic law that was put forward by the Turkish Constitutional Court (TCC). Erdogan was the leader of the reincarnation of Refah, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which won widespread popular support by a populace disillusioned with the secular political parties. Turkey's establishment was suspicious about Erdogan's intentions due to his having been seen in the past as the country's leading Islamist politician. It is regrettable to prejudices memorialized in important Western court decisions that embrace negative stereotypes about non-Western cultures and religions like the stereotypes that influenced the courts deciding Korematsu and Refah. The ECtHR in its Refah decision inadvertently revealed a prejudiced mindset that disposed it to endorse hostile and negative characterizations of Islam and Islamism.