Islam in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR): an analysis of selected ECtHR cases to evaluate the Court’s approach and its consequences : Refah Partisi and others v. Turkey, Molla Sali v. Greece, E.S. v. Austria

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Farzan, Asadullah
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This thesis examines how the ECtHR dealt with cases concerning Islam, exploring the outcomes of selected case law. It provided an opportunity to analyse other rights invoked rather than Article 9 of the ECHR. The rise of Islam and the Muslim population led to a multicultural environment, yet polarization in Europe, highlighting the need for accommodation of a diversified array of ethnic, cultural, and religious identities and traditions. The ECtHR, a powerful voice for human rights, plays a vital role in this respect. A range of factors influence the rulings of the Court in the selected jurisprudence, including its strict adherence to principles of liberal democracy and the subsequent reluctance to consider intricacies of Islam, conflicts between rights and context, lack of binding precedents and Islamophobic sentiments. The message to the public is that political Islam and outright expression of Islamic religious identity are considered a threat to democracy and secularism; however, under religious peace, Islam can be protected. These factors and messaging have led to inconsistency in jurisprudence and abstract mechanisms that lack foreseeability. As a supra-national court, ECtHR must consider diversity, political issues and national sovereignty to maintain their standing and reputation amidst human rights organizations.
Second semester University: Université de Strasbourg
European Court of Human Rights, case law, Islam, European Convention on Human Rights - Article 9, freedom of religion, Islam, Turkey, Greece, Austria