Islam Advancing in France, Being Pushed Back in Turkey
These are an odd couple stories. On the one hand you have the ineffectual French courts kowtowing to a Muslim husband who wanted his marriage annulled because his wife wasn’t a virgin. On the other hand is Turkey’s courts upholding a law preventing women from wearing head scarves at university.
First, the lying virgin:
The bride said she was a virgin. When her new husband discovered that was a lie, he went to court to annul the marriage—and a French judge agreed.
The ruling ending the Muslim couple’s union has stunned France and raised concerns the country’s much-cherished secular values are losing ground to religious traditions from its fast-growing immigrant communities.
The decision also exposed the silent shame borne by some Muslim women who transgress long-held religious dictates demanding proof of virginity on the wedding night.
In its ruling, the court concluded the woman had misrepresented herself as a virgin and that, in this particular marriage, virginity was a prerequisite.
But in treating the case as a breach of contract, the ruling was decried by critics who said it undermined decades of progress in women’s rights. Marriage, they said, was reduced to the status of a commercial transaction in which women could be discarded by husbands claiming to have discovered hidden defects in them.
The court decision “is a real fatwa against the emancipation and liberty of women. We are returning to the past,” said Urban Affairs Minister Fadela Amara, the daughter of immigrants from Muslim North Africa, using the Arabic term for a religious decree.
Now the Islamic women without head scarves (IWWHS, for short):
Turkey’s secular establishment won an important battle on Thursday against the socially conservative government after the country’s top court struck down a move to allow girls to wear the Muslim headscarf at university.
The verdict of the constitutional court will prolong a paralysing political crisis that has gripped Turkey in recent weeks. It increases the likelihood that the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), which has its roots in political Islam, will be shut down in a separate but closely linked case that accuses it of trying to undermine Turkey’s secular state.
The verdict could sow further confusion in the financial markets because of its wide and uncertain implications. Investors are already nervous about Turkey’s slowing economy and its faltering economic and structural reforms. On Tuesday the central bank added to the worries by abruptly raising its inflation targets, a move that analysts said diminished its credibility on the inflation front.
Investors may now also have to worry about the fate of the pro-business AKP. Soli Ozel, an academic at Bilgi University in Istanbul, said of on Thursday’s ruling: “The militancy of this verdict will have important political ramifications and is a harbinger of things to come in the closure case.”
Nurhan Toguc, chief economist at Ata Invest in Istanbul, said in a note on the headscarf verdict that it would “increase the probability” that the AKP would be shut down.
Turkey’s senior prosecutor has accused the AKP of trying to impose sharia law. He has cited the headscarf initiative as a key piece of evidence in his argument that the party should be closed and its top leaders, including Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, be banned from membership of a political party. A verdict in that case is not expected before late summer.
The headscarf ruling, made under intense political and public scrutiny, said two constitutional amendments passed by parliament in February allowing the headscarf on campus were in breach of other articles of the constitution declaring Turkey to be a secular republic. They were therefore “cancelled”.
Seven of the court’s 11 judges voted to strike down the amendments.
Source: Financial Times
RECAP: The supposedly progressive Western nation of France destroyed a woman’s life because she had premarital sex and the predominantly Islamic nation of Turkey forbids head scarves at university. Seriously, are we in the Twilight Zone? BigT "UA-2507471-1";urchinTracker();