1st Edition

Refashioning Secularisms in France and Turkey The Case of the Headscarf Ban

By Amelie Barras Copyright 2014
    170 Pages
    by Routledge

    182 Pages
    by Routledge

    Over the past few years, secularism has become an intrinsic component of discussions on religious freedom and religious governance. The question of whether states should restrict the wearing of headscarves and other religious symbols has been particularly critical in guiding this thought process.

    Refashioning Secularisms in France and Turkey documents how, in both countries, devout women have contested bans on headscarves, pointing to how these are inconsistent with the ‘real’ spirit of secularism. These activists argue that it is possible to be simultaneously secular and religious; to believe in the values conveyed by secularism, while still remaining devoted to their faith. Through this examination, the book highlights how activists locate their claims within the frame of secularism, while at the same time revisiting it to craft a space for their religiosity.

    Addressing the lacuna in literature on the discourse of devout Muslims affected by these restrictions, this book offers a topical analysis on an understudied dimension of secularism and is a valuable resource for students and researchers with an interest in Religion, Gender Studies, Human Rights and Political Science.


    Preface 1. Introduction 2. A Tradition of Regulations: Shedding Light on the Paradoxes of Languages of Secularism 3. The Slow Exclusion of Pious Women from French and Turkish Societies: (re) producing Spaces 4. French Muslim Activists: Promoting a laïcité-ante 5. Turkish Devout Activists: Reconfiguring laïklik with Human Rights 6. A Rights-based Discourse: a Door to Multiple Sites of Contestations 7. Conclusion: An Invitation to Transcend the Secular/Religious Divide


    Amélie Barras is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Montreal with the Chair Religion, Culture and Society and the Canadian Religion and Diversity Project. Her research interest is in religion and politics, with a special focus in gender, law and Islam. She has published articles on these topics in Democratization, Journal of Human Rights and in Mediterranean Politics.