‘EU court opinion supports corporate headscarf ban’

So the European Court rules in favour of legal discrimination against Muslims. So much for freedom of religion!


City A.M reports

Companies can ban Muslim staff from wearing headscarves if the rules are part of a general prohibition on religious symbols in the workplace, according to the European Court of Justice.

The court has published the non-binding opinion in connection with a case taken by former G4S employee Samira Achbita, a Muslim woman who was fired by the company in Belgium for wearing a headscarf at work. The UK services company prohibits the wearing of any visible religious, political and philosophical symbols.

Advocate general Juliane Kokott said that in her view, “there is no direct discrimination on the ground of religion where an employee of Muslim faith is banned from wearing an Islamic headscarf in the workplace, provided that that ban is founded on a general company rule prohibiting visible political, philosophical and religious symbols in the workplace and not on stereotypes or prejudices against one or more particular religions or against religious beliefs in general”.

She went on to say that while a headscarf ban in a workplace could be deemed an indirect discrimination, it could still be justified in order to “enforce a legitimate policy of religious and ideological neutrality”. In this case, Kokott said, the ban was both appropriate and necessary in order for G4S’ neutrality policies to work.

Kokott stated: “While an employee cannot ‘leave’ his sex, skin colour, 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, be this in relation to religious practices, religiously motivated behaviour or (as in the present case) his clothing.”

While the opinion is not a verdict on the case, it is usually a good indication of the argument the European court will follow in its final judgment, which is to be delivered at a later date.

Categories: Islam, Islamophobia, Life in the West, Utterly idiotic

7 replies

  1. The continuing privatisation of religion is predicated upon the belief that religion is inherently divisive and thus should be left as private. The irony is that this policy is itself divisive as it says to a certain segment of society that only they must keep the most important part of their lives away while everyone else is accepted without compromise and to do otherwise is a civil crime.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What is worrying though the court has wittingly or unwittingly given a green light to corporate entities to undermine freedom of religion or thought. Those companies that are islamophobic will be able to state openly in their advertising literature that they will not accept women who wear headscarves to apply as they will be turned away unless they are willing to agree from the outset that they will be willing to remove it. I’m sure anyone with a brain can see the problem.


    • “Those companies that are islamophobic will be able to state openly in their advertising literature that they will not accept women who wear headscarves to apply as they will be turned away unless they are willing to agree from the outset that they will be willing to remove it.”

      The problem is that some religious world-views require others who are not part of that faith to adjust their behaviours and activities so that it conforms to their beliefs. Islam is one such faith and this is why we have to have such tone-deaf all or nothing applications of secular principles.

      Wearing a headscarf is not in and of itself problematic, but Islam requires that its adherents pray 5 times daily, sometimes during work hours, fast for a whole month, avoid certain foods, sometimes avoid touching or shaking hands with with the opposite sex, some muslims find women who are not dressed according to the standards of islam to be an offence to their faith, and so on and so forth.

      Where do you draw the line?

      Should companies allow only muslims to take extra breaks throughout the day to pray, whilst non-muslims have to keep working? Should non-muslims be required to avoid haram foods and modes of dress because it is offends muslim sensibilities? Should muslims be allowed to engage in what is considered to be one of the rudest behaviours in the west and not shake someone’s hand because they are a different sex? Or gay? What about refusing to shake someone’s hand because they are a different race? Should that worldview be allowed in the workplace?

      If a muslim man refuses to sit next to a woman because his worldview says it is haram, should special man only offices be provided? Then shouldn’t racists be allowed to decide they can refuse to work with someone of a different race because their worldview is against it?


  3. I think Paul has hit the nail on the head however I would also add that what G4S are demonstrating is not neutrality because only religious people and those of other worldviews are being targeted, the assumption being that theres is something that can be just taken off like a piece of clothing.

    For everyone else it is both acceptable and encouraged. Thats not neutral at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They are essentially saying “if you wear a headscarf, turban etc… we won’t hire you unless you remove it.” You can take off a Bertrand Russell t-shirt without affecting your Atheism in the slightest whereas for others such articles of clothing are a necessary part of their lives to have on.

    Surely thats discrimination? Such a policy cannot be considered neutral, a truly neutral stance would be to allow people of all faiths and none to freely express themselves as long as it does not interefere with others which a headscarf certainly does not unless other people around her choose to be offended by it.

    Liked by 2 people

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