Belgium had a controversial trial on the future of some religious customs within its territory. The case concerned burkas some Muslim women wear as a long veil that cloaks the entire body from head to toe. However, there are other garments as well included that are employed to cover facial features. The case ended with a Belgian burka ban. The European Court of Human Rights is now the latest supporter of this 2011 ruling.
The Belgian Burka Ban Promotes the Existence of a Democratic Society
Belgium allowed six years ago a nationwide prohibition on a piece of fabric to which members of different religious appeal to cover their faces. As of recently, the European Court endorsed this national ban. The court found the ruling in alignment with the ethics of the European Convention on Human Rights.
This endorsement intends to protect the rights of living together and other such freedoms. According to the European Court, the Belgian government was right to put an end to a practice that wasn’t contiguous with its society. The argumentation is based on a democratic environment where such religious customs impair the well-being of communication and human relationships.
The Two Muslim Women behind Litigation Confessed Their Hardships Coming from the 2011 Ruling
As a consequence, the European Court of Human Rights decided to dismiss the appeal on the Belgian burka ban. There were two women who initiated the litigation, Samia Belcacemi and Yamina Oussar. They first filed their case with the Constitutional Court in Brussels yet to no avail.
The two women backed their appeal with evidence from their personal life experiences. They stated that this ruling impacted their lives directly as Muslim women. While Ms Belcacemi was forced to forsaken her niqab for fear of legal repercussions, Ms Oussar felt compelled to retreat herself to her home in isolation. However, the court ruled against their appeal.
Islamic veils raised debates within European countries in relation to extreme religious practices, social integration, and freedom of religion. France was the first European country that prohibited the public use of burqas in April 2011.
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