Marco Parisi

To hide the face in public space and religious freedom of minorities: the Belgian case decided by the European Court of Human Rights

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Full Veil; Religious Freedom; Minorities; Public Order.

The Strasbourg Court's decision to uphold the ban introduced in the Belgian law regarding the use of the integral Islamic veil in public offers the occasion for a reflection on the appropriateness of religious symbols in common space. This is because the European Court has ruled, in the specific disputes that have been brought to its attention, that this restriction is intended to ensure social cohesion, «the protection of the rights and freedoms of others» and it is necessary in a «democratic society». For the highest European Court, the Belgian law on burqa and niqab would be compatible with the requirements of the protection of fundamental rights, to which the Rome Convention is addressed, since the rules that have been introduced would guarantee the conditions of «living together» as elements of the protection of the freedoms of everyone, in a logic of preserving the public security and of establishing a balanced relationship between different cultures, traditions and faiths.

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