n South African Law Journal - Muslim headscarves in the workplace and in schools

Volume 124, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



How should the legislature and the courts respond to objections to measures stipulating that as a condition of being availed of some opportunity an individual must refrain from acts required by her religious beliefs? The Constitutional Court has indicated that accommodations should be granted to protect individuals' right to freedom of religion where it is reasonable to do so, but concrete claims raise knotty questions about the reasonableness of demands for accommodation. This article engages with these questions by elaborating the liberal principle of equality of opportunity. Arguing that we should take seriously the constraints imposed on a religiously observant person by her religious beliefs, the article applies this principle to two recent cases involving claims by Muslim women to be entitled to wear headscarves in school and in the workplace.

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