انتقد كل من الدكتور "يوجكيم فريلينك" - الباحث والمنسق بمركز قانون التمييز بـ"جامعة ليوفين" - والمحامي البلجيكي "جلي فلو" - قرار المحكمة الدستورية البلجيكية الذي صدر الشهر الماضي في القضية المرفوعة ضد الدولة لحظرها النقاب بين المسلمات بمقال نشرته "Open Democracy".
وقد أشارا إلى أن القرار قد تجاوز حدود الدستور؛ حيث يتم التضحية بحقوق الأقليات لصالح مشاعر الأغلبية، وانتقدا تبرير الحظر بتحقيق الأمن العام، وانتقدا محاولة إجبار الدولة الأقلية على الذوبان في المجتمع؛ حيث أدى ذلك لانتهاك حق حرية ممارسة الشعائر الدينية، وأكدا في مقالهما أن الحقوق الأساسية توجد لحماية الأقليات، وخاصةً الأقليات غير المنتشرة ضد استبداد الأغلبية؛ حيث تبخرت الحدود بفعل المحكمة الدستورية التي رفضت الطعن في قرار الحظر؛ المصدر: شبكة الألوكة.
يرجى الإشارة إلى المصدر عند نقل الخبر - شبكة الألوكة.
Burqa bans, minority rights and 'majority sentiments'
Jogchum Vrielink, postdoctoral researcher and coordinator of the Centre for Discrimination Law (Research Centre on Equality Policies at the University of Leuven, and Belgian lawyer, Jelle Flo, critique the decision by the Belgian Constitutional Court last month to reject cases filed against the country’s burqa ban in an article for Open Democracy.
Appraising the various grounds on which the Court maintained the constitutionality of the burqa ban, passed in 2011, Vrielink and Flo argue that the decision ‘crosses a boundary’ where the rights of minorities are sacrificed to majority sentiments.
On the legality of the ban and the claim of it protecting public safety, Vrielink and Flo observe, “These general statements by the Court however in no way clarify the reach of the burqa ban, and they certainly do not limit the prohibition in any way. As such, it will have to be assumed that all types of partial concealment of one’s face, which impede “recognisability”, regardless of intent, are forbidden in Belgium. It follows that somebody who wears a scarf and a winter hat to protect himself from the cold is punishable. The same goes for cyclists wearing dust masks, human mascots at sports events, veiled brides, and Boy Scout leaders who disguise themselves during a game."
As for the argument of the ban enhancing integration, or strategies for ‘living together’, Vrielink and Flo note, “It is remarkable, to say the least, that the Belgian Constitutional Court would accept that a violation of the freedom of religion would de facto be justified by a violation of the right to privacy. Freedom of religion is, after all, restricted in order to pursue an invasion of people’s privacy, as the State wishes to force people to communicate with each other when in public, with the State deciding how such communication should take place in order to be valuable or ‘democratic’. Would it not be more respectful of democratic values to leave it up to individual citizens to determine whether and when they want contact with their fellow citizens in the streets? Even if one were to consider it a legitimate purpose to promote such contacts, criminal punishment does not seem a fitting means to do so.”
Much research has been carried out on the implications and consequences of the burqa bans on the autonomy, visibility and personal safety of Muslim women in European public spheres. Various human rights advocates have also been at the forefront of criticizing such prohibitions as violations of fundamental rights in European societies.
Vrielink and Flo conclude, “Fundamental rights ultimately exist to protect minorities, unpopular minorities in particular, against the tyranny of the majority. A boundary is crossed when rights of individuals are simply sacrificed to majority sentiments; a boundary which should be protected by institutions such as the Court. In other matters, the Constitutional Court has not hesitated to fulfil this role. In the case of the burqa ban, however, these boundaries seem to have evaporated.”
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