In France, even though debates about Islam sometimes risk bordering racism, religious minorities are aware that secularism remains their best protection. In Turkey, the choice of secularism cannot simply be summed up as a confrontation between authoritarian secularists bullying democracy and Islamists using democracy to undermine secularism. If the recent allowing of the headscarf to be worn by Turkish university students, civil servants, and members of parliament is part of a trend towards a general reversal of secularism, driven by a political movement that is turning religious tenets into political norms, the results could be worrisome. Under such “democratization”, not only secularism but democracy itself becomes threatened.
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