Women can be sacked for wearing hijab, EU court rules
Banning the hijab could only strengthen Islamophobia
A top court at the European Union has ruled that employers may ban the wearing of religious symbols or political beliefs.
“A prohibition on wearing any visible form of expression of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace may be justified by the employer’s need to present a neutral image towards customers or to prevent social disputes,” said the Luxembourg-based tribunal.
so “women can wear whatever they want” until it’s a muslim woman wearing the hijab ? they’re not even trying to hide their hatred for us nor are they trying to hide the intense islamaphobia. https://t.co/ycw5HQqi6B
— zai⁷ (ia) (@joonsgenre) July 15, 2021
“However, that justification must correspond to a genuine need on the part of the employer and, in reconciling the rights and interests at issue, the national courts may take into account the specific context of their Member State and, in particular, more favourable national provisions on the protection of freedom of religion.”
The issue was brought to court after two German women were suspended from their jobs after they began wearing hijabs. The special needs carer and a cashier at the Mueller pharmacy chain had not been wearing the hijab when they initially started working but had later decided to adorn themselves in the religious symbol, having come back from parental leave.
Statement: Top EU court rules hijab can be banned at work
I will be raising the concerns of many regarding this Islamophobic, ignorant and blatant attack on religious freedoms. pic.twitter.com/3CncVXI1Qs
— Naz Shah MP 💙 (@NazShahBfd) July 15, 2021
In the case of the care centre employee, the court said the employer's request they remove their headscarf was fair as they had also asked another staff member to stop wearing a religious cross. It will be decided by the national court whether or not the women experienced overt discrimination or not.
Though the wearing of hijabs has been debated for years, largely by people not of the Muslim faith, rules such as these pose a moral issue. Though not all cases will be based on discrimination, rules such as these could be used to enforce an Islamophobic rhetoric.
My hijab isn’t making you uncomfortable, your racism and xenophobia is making you uncomfortable with my hijab. https://t.co/z1n735lJe2
— Johana Bhuiyan (@JMBooyah) July 15, 2021
"Europe's obsession with Muslim women's clothing choices and specifically the hijab is entwined with Islamophobia, racism and misogyny," Shaista Aziz, an anti-racism and women's rights campaigner, told The Independent.
"While the European continent grapples with Covid, rising levels of inequalities and social injustice - why is it that the hijab and Muslim women are the focus of politicians? These politicians are fuelling the far right and rampant anti-Muslim hate and Islamophobia."