Groups in Context: An Ontology of a Muslim Headscarf in a Nazareth Catholic School and a Sephardic Ultra-Orthodox Student in Immanuel

Michael Karayanni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two separate Israeli Supreme Court cases permitted a Christian school in Nazareth to exclude a Muslim student who insisted on coming to school with her headscarf, and denied an Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox school in Immanuel permission to exclude Sephardic students. Intriguingly, the Israeli Supreme Court reached these apparently contradictory holdings using the same liberal ideals of equality and commonality. The article analyzes both holdings to show that the Court's resolutions cannot stand on their own terms. To reconcile these outcomes, we must locate the groups involved within the religious and ethnic power structure in Israel and determine the legal and social significance of defining the group as a minority or a majority. In general, we should be more tolerant of exclusionary measures practiced by a minority than those practiced by the majority. Ultimately, a constitutional evaluation committed to basic individual freedoms cannot refer to the individual without her or his group.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)973-1005
Number of pages33
JournalLaw and Social Inquiry
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Bar Foundation.

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