I’ve recently had my first article published that was translated into Turkish. Titled, “İslamofobinin Kolay Hedefleri”, the piece was published in the German periodical Perspektif and is available in both print and online versions. To read the online version, click here.
For those of you who don’t read Turkish, an English version is pasted below (the published version may however be slightly different):
Easy Goals of Islamophobia
A few weeks ago, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that two Muslim women – one in Belgium, the other in France – who were dismissed by their employers for wearing headscarves did not suffer direct discrimination. The decision was made on the basis that employers are within their rights to ban visible political or religious clothing and symbols in the workplace as long as it is part of a requirement for all staff to dress ‘neutrally’. Contrary to an earlier ruling by the European Court of Human Rights upholding the rights of employees to display religious symbols at work, the ECJ ruling has been interpreted by some as Islamophobic given it will likely impact Muslim women employees the most due to their Islamic clothing in particular being seen to be more objectionable and therefore less neutral than other religious traditions. In some ways, the decision is unsurprising.
For many years, European Muslim women – especially ‘visible’ Muslim women – have been increasingly un-noticeable not least because their mere presence and recognition goes some way towards disrupting the order of normality within Western societies. The evidence for this is most obvious in the banning of certain aspects of Muslim women’s appearance and attire in such countries as Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Italy and Switzerland. Without doubt, Muslim women are seen as being problematic. As my research has repeatedly shown, this is because the outward and visible manifestations of Muslim women have not only come to symbolise their identity but so too have they come to symbolise many of the things that are perceived to be wrong, problematic and threatening about Islam and Muslims in the West.