Law and the Wearing of Religious Symbols
European Bans on the Wearing of Religious Symbols in Education
By Erica Howard
Routledge – 2012
Routledge – 2012
Written in accessible language, Law and the Wearing of Religious Symbols is a comprehensive analysis of a topical subject that is being widely debated across Europe. The book provides an overview of emerging case law from the European Court of Human Rights as well as from national courts and equality bodies in European countries on the wearing of religious symbols in educational settings. The author persuasively argues that bans on the wearing of religious symbols in educational institutions in Europe constitutes a breach of an individual’s human rights and contravenes existing anti-discrimination legislation. The book offers a discussion of developments in Europe, including the French ban on Islamic head scarves which came into force in April 2011. In addition to an in depth examination of recent bans, the book also assess the arguments used for imposing them as well as the legal claims that can potentially be made to challenge their validity. In doing this, the book will go beyond merely analysing the bans in place to suggest ways in which educational institutions can most fairly respond to requests for accommodation of the wearing of religious symbols and whether perhaps the adoption of other provisions or measures are necessary in order to improve the present situation.
This book will be of particular interest to students and academics in the disciplines of law, human rights, political science, sociology and education, but will also be of considerable value to policy makers and educators as well.
1. Definitions 2. Arguments For/Against Bans on Religious Symbols in Schools 3. Bans on Religious Symbols as a Violation of Human Rights 4. Bans on Religious Symbols as a Breach of Anti-Discrimination Legislation 5. Objective Justification of Bans on Religious Symbols 6. Reasonable Accommodation of Religious Manifestations 7. Conclusions and Ways Forward
Erica Howard is a Senior Lecturer in Law at Middlesex University, United Kingdom