Hijab No Threat to Secularism: Greece
IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
"There is a general misconception, based on false readings of the Qur`an, that Islam treats women as inferior to men," Bakoyannis said.
ANKARA — Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis defended on
Saturday, March 8, the right of Muslim women to cover their heads as per their
religion, refuting claims that hijab poses a threat to secularism.
and the secular nature of a state are not threatened by the headscarf. Nor are
they safeguarded by a ban," Bakoyannis told an international women
conference in Ankara, reported the Turkish website newstime7.
open societies are guaranteed by political will, legal frameworks, policies on
education and access to information and new technologies; policies on
development, employment, entrepreneurship, equal social and political participation."
Islam sees hijab as
an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s
The Muslim head
cover has been thrust into the limelight since the 2004 French ban on hijab at
public schools and institutions.
countries have since followed the French lead.
Belgium's third largest, decided in late 2007 to prohibit civil servants who
deal with the public from donning hijab.
city Antwerp banned hijab earlier the same year.
Governments in some
Arab and Muslim countries also place restrictions on hijab.
Last month, Turkish
President Abdullah Gul signed into law a constitutional amendment easing the
hijab ban on campus, in place since shortly after a 1980 military coup.
Greek foreign minister, blamed ignorant Western media for propagating
misconceptions about the status of women in Islam.
"There is a
general misconception, based on false readings of the Qur'an, that Islam treats
women as inferior to men," she told the conference, coinciding with the
International Woman Day.
reading of the Old or New Testament ignoring the historical context in which
they were written could easily support a similar conclusion about
Christianity," she contended.
believe that in the so-called Western world we have more stereotypes than we
care to admit."
diplomat insisted that Islam ensures men-women equality.
women from many Muslim countries with whom I have met and conversed in various
fora, reiterate that for them, religion really means peace and equality."
She cited Turkey as
a living example that Muslim women are as successful as their Western peers.
"Let us not forget that both Islam and Christianity are
based on the precept that rights and obligations to our fellow human beings and
to God are the same for everyone. No exceptions."
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