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Matthew Scheffer

2008 Research

Abstract: Islam, Secularism & Nationalism: The Banning of the Hijab in Turkey

Mentor: Dr. Robert Sauders, History

This study explores how secularism and nationalism have affected the country of Turkey. The driving question behind the research is, "why would a nation, which is approximately 99% Muslim, make it illegal for Muslim women to wear a headscarf (hijab) in universities and government buildings?" Turkey's nationalistic military generals vigorously guard and defend the secularization & the westernization of the country, while tensions rise from Muslim men and women who believe that their ability to practice their religion is being openly suppressed. Nationalism and secularism have affected Muslim countries from Morocco to Egypt to Lebanon, but Turkey has arguably become the most secular and the most nationalistic of all. The dispute over women being allowed to wear the hijab has been hotly debated by individuals, landing on both sides of the issue, who all consider themselves devout Muslims.


12th Annual EWU Student Research and Creative Works Symposium: May 20, 2009

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