What happens when laws violate fundamental human rights in a nation where “liberty, equality and fraternity” have been every citizen’s right for over two hundred years? Samantha Tropper’s beautifully crafted essay explores the paradoxes created by French legislation that bars girls wearing Muslim headscarves from public schools. After conducting historical research on bans on Muslim headscarves and face veils, Ms. Tropper applies legal reason to demonstrate precisely how those laws violate not only French constitutions, but also the international conventions signed by France and the Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights. “Laïcité, the Republic, and the Veil” highlights the paradox that in order to enjoy equal human rights, French people must renounce any identity that does not count as “French.” Ms. Tropper’s essay is not only an outstanding piece of scholarship, but an exposé of injustice against Muslims.
Click here to read Ms. Tropper’s essay.