This essay contends that contemporary headscarf and related cases in the European Court of Human Rights draw not solely upon the exclusionary legacy of Western secularism but also upon the exclusionary legacy of Western hostility to secularism. One of the avatars of the contemporary Muslim, whose practices are viewed as inimical by the court to democracy’s essentials, is the communist. This argument is pursued through an examination of the history of the middle of the twentieth century, when human rights became a supranational dream and the European human rights architecture was designed.

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