Turkish secularists say that allowing women to wear headscarves will result in the Islamicization and radicalization of the country. Do they have a point?

Posted by Fareed Zakaria on February 9, 2008 7:17 PM


Lamis Andoni is a Middle East consultant for Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based news station. She has been covering the Middle East for 20 years. She has reported for the Christian Science Monitor, the Financial Times and the main newspapers in Jordan. She was a professor at the Graduate School in UC Berkeley.

Hijab No Litmus Test For Democracy

Don’t reduce human rights in the Arab world to a debate over the hijab.

Posted by Lamis Andoni Doha, Qatar | 30 COMMENTS
Feb 13, 2008 at 10:55 AM
Mustafa Domanic is an online activist and blogger. He contributes to several blogs on Turkish current affairs as well as global political issues including

Secular Turks In Denial

Turkish secularists ignore the demographic shifts in Turkish population, and growing Islamic conservatism worldwide, that make Turkey’s status quo impossible to maintain.

Posted by Mustafa Domanic Istanbul, Turkey | 59 COMMENTS
Feb 11, 2008 at 5:18 PM
Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist. He was born in Jerusalem in 1955. He is a former Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University in the United States. Mr. Kuttab is the former director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University in Ramallah, Palestine and the founder of AmmanNet, the Arab world's first internet radio station. His personal web page is

Lifting Ban Wins Turkish Hearts and Minds

Lifting Turkey’s headscarf ban is an issue of personal rights, not secularism.

Posted by Daoud Kuttab Jerusalem/Amman, Jordan | 1 COMMENTS
Feb 11, 2008 at 3:38 PM
Dr. Ali Ettefagh serves as a director of Highmore Global Corporation, an investment company in emerging markets of Eastern Europe, CIS, and the Middle East. He is the co-author of several books on trade conflict, resolution of international trade disputes, conflicts in letters of credit, trade-related banking transactions, sovereign debt, arbitration and dispute resolutions and publications specific to the oil and gas, communication, aviation and finance sectors. Dr. Ettefagh is a member of the executive committee and the board of directors of The Development Foundation, an advisor to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and an advisor to a number of European companies. Dr. Ettefagh speaks Persian (Farsi), English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Turkish.

America, Stay Out of Headscarf Debate

Is a leap towards a pluralist society and respect of a fellow citizen really fearsome? This debate reeks of Islamophobia.

Posted by Ali Ettefagh Tehran, Iran | 18 COMMENTS
Feb 11, 2008 at 11:01 AM
Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning syndicated columnist and an international lecturer on Arab and Muslim issues. Before she moved to the U.S. in 2000, she was a news reporter in the Middle East, including in Cairo and Jerusalem as a Reuters correspondent. She also reported from the region for Britain's The Guardian and U.S. News and World Report. She has lived in Egypt, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, and is currently based in New York.

Fed Up With Headscarves

Get over this headscarf obsession and move on to women’s issues that need more attention.

Posted by Mona Eltahawy New York City, NY, USA | 59 COMMENTS
Feb 9, 2008 at 7:24 PM
Rami George Khouri is a Palestinian-Jordanian and U.S. citizen whose family resides in Beirut, Amman, and Nazareth. He is editor at large, and former executive editor, of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper, published throughout the Middle East with the International Herald Tribune. An internationally syndicated political columnist and book author, he is also the first director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, and also serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Kennedy School of Harvard University and the Dubai School of Government. He was awarded the Pax Christi International Peace Prize for 2006. He teaches annually at American University of Beirut, University of Chicago and Northeastern University. He has been a fellow and visiting scholar at Harvard University, Mount Holyoke College, Syracuse University and Stanford University, and is a member of the Brookings Institution Task Force on US Relations with the Islamic World. He is a Fellow of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (Jerusalem), and a member of the Leadership Council of the Harvard University Divinity School. He also serves on the board of the East-West Institute, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University (USA), and the Jordan National Museum. He was editor-in-chief of the Jordan Times for seven years and for 18 years he was general manager of Al Kutba, Publishers, in Amman, Jordan, where he also served as a consultant to the Jordanian tourism ministry on biblical archaeological sites. He has hosted programs on archeology, history and current public affairs on Jordan Television and Radio Jordan, and often comments on Mideast issues in the international media. He has BA and MSc degrees respectively in political science and mass communications from Syracuse University, NY, USA.

Personal Piety, Public Power

Why are so many Muslims embracing their faith more explicitly in the first place? Partly because their countries’ political and economic structures are failing them.

Posted by Rami G. Khouri Beirut, Lebanon | 15 COMMENTS
Feb 9, 2008 at 7:23 PM
Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar is the Consulting Editor of The Economic Times, India's largest financial daily. He writes a popular weekly column, titled Swaminomics in the Times of India. He spends roughly half the year in New Delhi and half in Washington D.C., where he is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and an occasional consultant to the World Bank. He has been the editor of India's two main financial dailies, The Economic Times (1992-94) and Financial Express (1988-90). He was also the India Correspondent of the British weekly, The Economist, for most of two decades between 1976 and 1998.

Secularism on Shaky Footing

If Turkish women wearing headscarves can really make or break secularism, then it’s so weak it would have collapsed anyway.

Posted by Swaminathan A. Aiyar New Delhi, India | 7 COMMENTS
Feb 9, 2008 at 7:22 PM
Originally from Pakistan, Anwer Sher is based in Dubai and writes for Gulf News, Khaleej Times and Emirates Today. His varied career experience includes banking, consulting, and real estate development. He has a Masters degree in International Relations.

Hijab Politics

Turkey's amended constitution allows for choice – and that’s what democracy is all about.

Posted by Anwer Sher Dubai, UAE | 7 COMMENTS
Feb 9, 2008 at 7:20 PM

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.