The Distinction Between the Freedom of Religion and the Right to Manifest Religion: A Legal Medium to Regulate Subjectivities

Gursel E. D.

SOCIAL & LEGAL STUDIES, cilt.22, sa.3, ss.377-394, 2013 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 22 Konu: 3
  • Basım Tarihi: 2013
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1177/0964663913477679
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.377-394


In this article, I explore what kind of individual is presupposed and promoted as the subject of the right to freedom of religion in Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. I question the distinction made between freedom of religion and the right to manifest religion in the context of the so-called headscarf cases. I argue that making such a distinction is only possible if it is based on a particular understanding of an individual who, on the one hand, is capable of perceiving religion as something that can be protected as a lifestyle or as a background that can be entered or exited and who is required to submit to certain putatively secular rules, on the other. In order to do this, I outline the application of the distinction by the European Court of Human Rights and discuss whether it is an appropriate tool to approach the religious subjectivities of women wearing the headscarf for religious reasons. I then try to unearth the relationship between the doctrine of secularism and the conception of religion that is embedded in Article 9.