Home / All / Fiqh & Lifestyle / Top EU court Rules Hijab Can be Banned at Work

Top EU court Rules Hijab Can be Banned at Work

The European Union’s top court ruled on Tuesday that public employers in member states can ban workers from wearing any visible signs of religious belief, including Islamic headscarf, marking a blow to the freedom of religion of millions of Muslim women.

The case was brought to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) by a Muslim woman who worked as a receptionist for the municipality of Ans in eastern Belgium. She was told by her employer that she could not wear her head scarf at work, and that she had to abide by a new policy that required all employees to observe strict neutrality by not displaying any religious or ideological symbols

The woman challenged the policy in court, arguing that it violated her right to practice her religion freely. She also claimed that the policy was discriminatory, as it disproportionately affected Muslim women who wear the hijab.

The CJEU rejected her arguments and ruled that the policy was justified by a so-called “legitimate” aim of ensuring a neutral administrative environment.

The court said that public authorities in member states have a margin of discretion in deciding how to promote the neutrality of public service, and that they can either prohibit or allow the wearing of religious symbols by their employees.

The ruling is a setback for the human rights of Muslim women in Europe, who face increasing hostility and discrimination because of their religious identity.

The verdict of the court increased the existing worries about the security, liberties and rights of Muslims in Europe and also exposed the EU’s double standards on human rights, religious freedoms and equality.

The court’s decision, however, was expected by anyone who has been observing Europe’s gradual slide into Islamophobia as growing measures to isolate and even outlaw Muslims have been going on in Europe for many years.

Islamophobia, which became more prominent around the world after the 9/11 attacks and the start of the so-called “war on terror”, slowly infiltrated mainstream European politics in recent years. European politicians from different political backgrounds began blaming Muslims for economic crises, rising unemployment, irregular migration, social unrest and global terror.

US rights group slams the ruling 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the US’ largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the US Department of State to condemn the ruling.

CAIR contends that the court’s decision meets the United States International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) definition of violation of religious rights and thus warrants strong condemnation from the US government, the group’s website reported on Tuesday.

“The Court of Justice of the European Union has trampled on the basic principles of religious freedom by denying Muslim women the right to wear a hijab at work,” said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR National Communications Director.

“This decision and past rulings in European nations clearly target Muslims and seek to eliminate expressions of Islam from public spaces,” he stressed.

By allowing employers to prohibit their Muslim workers from wearing headscarves, the court has in effect institutionalized, legalized and justified anti-Muslim discrimination in European workplaces.

About Ali Teymoori

Check Also

The Marriage of Fatima Zahra and Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S)

God gave victory to Islam in the battle of Badr in the year 2 of Hijri. Two months after the battle, Fatima Zahra, the daughter of Muhammad Mustafa, and Ali, the son of Abu Talib were married.....

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Google Analytics Alternative