EU Court Ruling On Bans of Hijabs in Workplaces

EU Court Ruling On Bans of Hijabs in Workplaces

Hamish Shepherd, Writer

On 3/14, the European Union Court of Justice made a ruling on a headscarf ban in the workplace. The ruling stated that a ban was allowed if there was justification for the ban. The ruling set the precedent that if there was already a ban against all types of religious symbols in the workplace, that headscarves were included.

A Belgian security company’s policy of “no religious symbols in the workplace” was intended to promote neutrality . When management told a Muslim employee that she could not wear her hijab while at work, she sued them on the grounds of discrimination. The case was sent to the European Union Court of Justice, as it is charged with interpreting laws across the EU.

The court decision was praised and protested by people across the European Union. Protesters included both people calling the ruling Islamophobic and from Christians who are concerned that the rule would allow employers to prevent employees from wearing Christian symbols as well. Britain is the source of many major protests on the ruling for the British government prevents the restriction of any religious symbols on the grounds of religious freedom. The right wing, which is on a rise in Europe, praises the ruling as a positive change. Right wing parties that have been pushing for restrictions on and in some cases bans on Islam and its practitioners feel the ruling is the first step towards change that they wish to see in Europe.

The court ruling has presented the European Union with a question on whether companies wishing to have a non-specific religious image is discrimination and if this court ruling is the first step in greater restrictions on religious freedom in Europe.