It is widely held view that human beings have a basic need to create a positive social identity for themselves, either as individuals or as members of a group. In this regard, choice of dress is likely to be particularly important. A person’s clothes can reveal much about their identity, in relation to their gender or religious beliefs. At this level, religious expressions vary in terms of the individual's choice of dress. There is a veil, niqab or burqa for Muslim women, or the special religious dress of Christian monks and nuns, the skullcap for the Jews, the turban of the Sikhs...etc.
In view of law, Freedom of thought, conscience and religion is a fundamental right which is enshrined in a wide range of texts in international law. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
In Europe, the wearing of religious symbols has been subject to more or less restrictive national regimes. Furthermore, the European Convention of Human Rights has recently been interpreted to give great leeway to national states. The European Court of Human Rights created a new ground to justify interference with the freedom of religious expression.
In this article, the basis for grounds of justification is examined in light of the evolution of the Court´s jurisprudence on the wearing of religious symbols. The study try to answer the following question: To what extent has the European Court of Human Rights been able to balance the protection of the individual's freedom to wear religious dress as evidence of religious identity and the legitimate right of the State to maintain public order and protect the rights of others?
Boujalal, Dr. Salahaddin
"Religious Dress between Freedom and Restriction: Review of the Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights,"
UAEU Law Journal: Vol. 2019:
79, Article 1.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uaeu.ac.ae/sharia_and_law/vol2019/iss79/1