The European Court of Justice has issued a ruling allowing European companies to ban headscarves and other religious, philosophical or spiritual symbols in their workplaces, local media reported.
Thuraday’s ruling affirmed that “conglomerate companies may ban the headscarf as long as it is a general ban that does not discriminate between employees.”
In its latest ruling on a case that continues to divide Europe, the EU’s Supreme Court has ruled that a general headscarf ban would not discriminate against working women on religious grounds and would not contravene the EU law.
Against this background, EU judges in Luxembourg have issued a preliminary ruling in a case involving a Muslim woman who was told she could not wear a headscarf when she applied for a 6-week traineeship in a Belgian company.
According to Reuters, the company said it follows a gender-neutral rule that does not allow headgear, whether a hat, cap or scarf, to be worn at all times. its head office.
The woman filed a complaint with a Belgian court, which in turn sought the opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The Luxembourg-based Supreme Court said there was no direct discrimination in such a ban.
Hijab ban in Europe
In 2021, the European Court of Justice said European companies could ban female employees from wearing the headscarf in certain circumstances if they needed to do so to present an unbiased image to customers.
In Germany, the headscarf ban for women at work has been controversial for years. Most of the cases involved female teachers aspiring to work in public schools and women being trained to enter the judiciary.
France, which has the largest Muslim minority in Europe, banned the headscarf in public schools in 2004.
In March 2022, France’s Supreme Court upheld a ban on women lawyers wearing headscarves or other religious symbols, in a country that insists on the separation of church, state and secularism. .
France was the first European country to ban full-face masks such as the niqab and burqa in public.
Then Belgium banned the partial or full veil in public in 2011, and Austria, Latvia, Bulgaria and Denmark banned the full veil.
Similarly, in the Netherlands, the niqab and burqa are banned in schools, hospitals and public transport, but not on the street.
The headscarf is considered a religious symbol and a sign of modesty by some of the women who wear it, and the veil usually covers the head and neck, but not the face.