Thursday, 16 March 2017 12:36

EU Allows Workplace Headscarf Ban

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By Molly and Priyanka

Is it right to ban headscarves in the workplace? (Photo by Molly)

In a controversial ruling earlier this week, the European High Court in Luxembourg allowed companies’ dress policies to exclude religious symbols such as headscarves, crosses and turbans.

According to the court, banning religious images in the workplace does not classify as ‘direct discrimination’ if it is an order applied to all employees who have been asked to dress ‘neutrally’. Nonetheless, this ruling has sparked a backlash from religious groups over claims that it is prejudiced against certain faiths. The main group affected are thought to be Muslim women.

 

This decision arose from the cases of two Muslim women in France and Belgium, who were prohibited from wearing hijabs by their employers, eventually resulting in their dismissal. Wearing hijabs was not seen as acceptable by the two companies the women worked for, Micropole in France and G4S in Belgium; this provoked outrage over workplace rights and the wearing of religious symbols.  

The Muslim Council of Britain stated told The Guardian newspaper that “this is a backward step which people of all faiths and none should speak out against.” Both The Times and The Guardian have reported that the ban “will not apply in the UK.”

What do teachers at CCHSG think about the court ruling?

“I feel that a headscarf ban would take away my rights, including the right to express my faith. My headscarf doesn’t stop me from working and has never been a problem since I started wearing it eight years ago. If I wear a headscarf, other girls who wear a hijab could look up to me; it didn’t stop me getting two degrees and a Masters.”

 “I don’t understand why this is happening and I don’t see a problem with headscarves. It would affect some of the girls I teach, and I think everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. You could ban a baseball cap… it doesn’t make any difference to our society.” 

Read 708 times Last modified on Monday, 20 March 2017 15:52
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