By Walid Shebat
The Hijab is a contentious issue in some European countries, particularly in France.
So the European Union is now allowing European businesses to ban Muslim women from wearing the Hijab. Senior adviser to the European Court of Justice says a European Union business may legitimately prohibit an employee from wearing a Muslim headscarf on the job, provided the ban is based on a general company rule prohibiting visible political or religious symbols in the workplace, and not on prejudice against a particular religion.
This is the first time Europe’s highest court is handling a case on banning the Hijab.
The case concerns a woman, Samira Achbita, who was fired by Belgian security firm after she insisted on being allowed to go to work while wearing a headscarf for religious reasons.
It is the typical Muslim lawsuits to advance Sharia, but this time it failed. Achbita has lost her discrimination lawsuit in two Belgian courts and is now before the country’s Court of Cassation, which sought the EU court’s opinion which was granted to allow workplace to reject such Muslim pressure.
“While an employee cannot ‘leave’ his sex, skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or disability ‘at the door’ upon entering his employer’s premises, he may be expected to moderate the exercise of his religion in the workplace,” Juliane Kokott, the EU court’s advocate general, wrote in her opinion published on Tuesday.
The advocate general’s findings are not binding but the EU court typically follows the adviser’s recommendation.
It is interesting to see that such bans are happening quicker in sheep rather than goat nations. There are already some headscarf bans in schools and public institutions in France and Belgium. However, Germany’s top court last year struck down a ban on teachers wearing headscarves in schools.