Turkey criticises European court’s on headscarf ban at workplace

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Muslim women can be sacked for wearing the hijab if they work face-to-face with customers or if it causes conflict in the workplace. [Photo: Getty Images]
Turkey on Sunday condemned a top EU court ruling allowing companies in member states to ban employees from wearing headscarves.

The Foreign Ministry said in a written statement that the decision by the European Court of Justice is an “open violation of the right of religion.”

“We condemn this decision which is legally and conscientiously wrong and dangerous in terms of hate against Islam it will fuel,” it added.

The statement described the court’s ruling as “a further example of the efforts to institutionalize and legalize hate and intolerance against Muslims in Europe.”

Underlining that Muslims are exposed to intolerance, hate speech and even violence, the statement stressed that “especially Muslim women are adversely affected by this situation.”

“This undeniably dangerous trend which indicates that lessons have not been learned from the bitter experiences of the past is also highlighted in the reports of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and the UN Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief,” it said.

“And yet, at a time when hatred against Islam, racism and the poison of hate that take Europe hostage, are on the rise, the Court of Justice of the European Union’s decision not only ignores freedom of religion, but also provides a basis and legal cover for discrimination,” it added.

The European Court of Justice on Thursday ruled on two cases brought by Muslim women in Germany who were suspended from their jobs for wearing headscarves.

It ruled that companies in member states can ban employees from wearing headscarves if they “need to present a neutral image to customers.”

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