The European Union, despite its obsession with multiculturalism, sometimes surprises us by adopting common sense measures concerning Islam.
The EU's top court ruled Tuesday, that employers across Europe are permitted to ban workers from wearing religions symbols, including hijabs and other Islamic garb. The court found that the measure would not constitute "direct discrimination."
Of course this won't stop individual countries from continuing their suicide run by allowing their respective societies to be overrun by those who refuse to assimilate and ultimately cause harm; but it is a step in the right direction. The Associated Press via Fox News reports:
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that companies with legitimate reasons to project a neutral image could establish internal rules banning political, philosophical or religious symbols, saying the rule “does not constitute direct discrimination,” the Guardian reported.
“However, in the absence of such a rule, the willingness of an employer to take account of the wishes of a customer no longer to have the employer’s services provided by a worker wearing an Islamic headscarf cannot be considered an occupational requirement that could rule out discrimination,” the court said in a statement.
The conclusion of the highest court of the 28-nation EU amounts to a victory for French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, a leading presidential contender, who wants to do away with all "ostentatious" religious symbols in the name of secularism.
The ruling applied only to private businesses, but clarified a long-standing question about whether partial bans by some countries on religious symbols can include the workplace.
In its ruling the ECJ considered the cases of two women, in France and Belgium, who were dismissed from their jobs for refusing to remove their headscarves.
In one of the cases, Samira Achbita had been a receptionist for the Belgian branch of G4S, the London-listed outsourcing and security company. After three years at the firm, Achbita started wearing a headscarf at work for religious reasons. The company said she had broken “unwritten rules” prohibiting religious symbols and was fired in June 2006 after refusing to take off her scarf. The company reportedly updated its workplace regulations after the woman started wearing a hijab.
"The court of justice finds that G4S’s internal rule refers to the wearing of visible signs of political, philosophical or religious beliefs and therefore covers any manifestation of such beliefs without distinction," states the EJC.
"The rule thus treats all employees to the undertaking in the same way, notably by requiring them, generally and without any differentiation, to dress neutrally."
Political leaders like French presidential candidate Francois Fillon have lauded the court's decision. With the pendulum swinging back to the right across Europe, both he and Marine Le Pen are seeing their respective stars rise among French voters, as is Dutch MP Geert Wilders, who is poised to benefit handsomely in his country's elections this Wednesday.
Sometimes, secularism wins in "Muriburiland" (a satirical, fictitious place featured in the TV series Lillehammer, where everyone, regardless of faith, gets along perfectly). Let's hope the trend continues.