A current political clash in Turkey attempts to balance the possibly conflicting issues of women's rights and civil liberties. According to Spiegel (on-line) "Turkey's parliament is likely to vote next week to allow women to wear head scarves at universities." The Turkish Constitution banned this practice in 1989, fearing the practice of wearing head scarves would threaten the secular (non-theocratic) state of modern Turkey.
But Turkey's current ruling party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has its root in an Islamist religious movement, reached an agreement with an opposition nationalist party on Thursday to cooperate on legislation to lift the two decade-old ban.
How do you feel about the ban? To what extent would such a ban limit women's freedom? Consider how this issue relates to our Civil Liberties unit last semester and our current Women and Children unit. In light of the accompanying cartoon (appearing only on our blog through the generosity of the author, Khalil Bendib), how accurate are our perceptions of "so-called Islam"? To what extent are women in the U.S. "respected" by men, by other women, by themselves? When does "respect" lead to inequality?