chapter
16 Pages

Introduction

ByW. Cole Durham, Jr and David M. Kirkham

This chapter presents and considers the judgment in a legal context, considering the assessments and conclusions of both the majority and the minority. In Sahin, the Court established that the ban on wearing the hijab constituted an interference with the applicant's right to freedom of religion. The Court is of the opinion that protecting secularism in Turkey may prove necessary in order to defend its democratic system. When the Strasbourg Court rules in favor of a state, the judgment is almost always warmly welcomed by the national authorities. The Court has, in Sahin, failed to analyze the relationship between the hijab issue and other human rights such as freedom of expression and the right to privacy. Against this background, it is rather disturbing that the Court indicates that both Islam and hijab may be perceived as being troublesome, not just to the Court in Strasbourg but also to the member states of the Council of Europe.