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European Court of Justice Reportedly Rules that Headscarves & Hijabs can be Banned at Workplaces



Halima Aden

The European Court of Justice has ruled that headscarves, or the traditional hijab, can now legally be banned in the workplace. Employers are now entitled to prohibit workers from “visible wearing of any political, philosophical, or religious sign”, according to BBC.

However, the ban must be based on internal company rules requiring all employees to “dress neutrally,” and if it was only applied to Muslim members of staff, it could still constitute as “direct discrimination.” It also cannot be banned on behalf of a customer.

The ruling was prompted by the case of two women, one in Belgium and one in France, who were dismissed from work for refusing to remove their headscarves.

Samira Achbita, a receptionist for Belgian security company G4S, lost her job after she began wearing a headscarf to work and refused to take it off, claiming she was being discriminated on the grounds of her religion. The second woman, Design engineer Asma Bougnaoui at consultancy company Micropole was dismissed after a customer complained about headscarf. Bougnaoui reportedly took her case to the Court of Cassation in France.

Photo Credit: Halima Aden


  1. Nurumba

    March 15, 2017 at 9:01 am

    It’s a known fact that Muslim women are supposed to cover their heads outside the comfort of their homes. What it means is that women who choose to practice their religion cannot work in this organizations. I don’t see how the hijab will reduce her efficiency or input in her job. This is purely discrimination and segregation against Muslim women and Islam generally.

    • LoooooL

      March 15, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Hausa, fullanis Go ‘Hang themselves off bridge’ on behalf of Saudi Arabia over this Law.

    • maria

      March 17, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      You need to watch a TED Talk by Samina Ali titled what does the Quran really say about a Muslim woman’s hijab

  2. Timb

    March 15, 2017 at 9:11 am

    While this case dealt with the Hijab which is specific to the Muslim woman, it also bans other religious symbols. Crucifix, for Christians, Kippur Jewish hat, Turban for Sikhs, the Bindi for the Hindu etc .

    While one must acknowledge that there are problems in some religious and ethnic communities, any woman that has made the effort to look for work and face the world should be assisted and supported rather than persecuted on the basis of what she is wearing or not wearing.

    Already in parts of Europe Christians are facing persecution from the governments of the ‘so called free world’ and can’t freely express the true doctrines of their faith because they’ll be sued and called bigots, like the Christian Bakery in Belfast who refused to bake a Pro-Gay marriage cake.

    So before anyone starts rejoicing that a certain group has been body slammed, we need to be vigilant because this is just the thin end of the wedge,

  3. Nurumba

    March 15, 2017 at 9:25 am

    @Timb “it also bans other religious symbols. Crucifix, for Christians, Kippur Jewish hat, Turban for Sikhs, the Bindi for the Hindu etc .” What is the essence of banning this things? Does this banned items reduce the work inputs? It’s only a Muslim woman that understand why the head covering is sacrosanct. I cannot speak for the Jews or Christian woman, because I don’t know how important it is to them. Why does a law have to change the lifestyle and doctrines of a people . I think the issue is intolerance.

    • Timb

      March 15, 2017 at 9:34 am

      I agree . That’s why i point out that no one should rejoice because the hijab has been banned, other faiths are in line for attack by the establishment,

      Faith has a role to play in the lives of many people, and so legislation which curbs expressing of such will ultimately impinge on the personal freedom to hold a faith and express the faith.

    • jabawale Kingdom

      March 15, 2017 at 9:46 am

      dear @Timb, why are u even answering this miserable god for saken Bigot ?! duz it look like she cares about logic and substance in her arguments, in her responce all she could do was turn the argument and make it, that only a muslim is fit to understand this issue…..

      hellooooooooo! thats why we are banning this thing. coz it doesnt promote unity; it promotes an “Us & them” kind attitude. if u want to be segregated u have ur own personal motifs. But people dont want to live in that kind enviroment it makes them feel uncorfortable.

      and ur a black woman no1 is threated by ur hijab. anymore than ur threatened by a wild monkey wearing a suit performing a jiggg! its the ethnicity of terrorists! that we are afraid of and try to bring within reasonable bounds. u kno ‘the’ actual Arab, as oppose to you the immitator! “sorry to burst ur big black bubble!”

    • Muse

      March 15, 2017 at 10:31 am

      @jabawale kingdom or whatever name you choose to identify yourself with, what nonsense are you spewing out?? Read what you typed and see if it makes sense.

      @Timb, your response is apt.
      When they locked up the social democrats,
      I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.
      Then they came for the Jews, I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
      When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.

    • jabawale Kingdom

      March 15, 2017 at 9:35 am

      maybe if ur ‘ugly’ coz that wud make it, as u say ‘sacrosanct!’

  4. jabawale Kingdom

    March 15, 2017 at 9:32 am

    its not a religion its tyranny with slave followers, it diminishes thought propensity. Only people who lend themselves to this Effeminate ethnicity – Go enjoy being ‘husbanded’ like this. i dont envy a hausa Fullani, kind person.

  5. Nurumba

    March 15, 2017 at 10:44 am

    @jabawale Kingdom You don’t have to abuse the next person to state your point. It’s bad for you.

    • Jabawalekingdom

      March 15, 2017 at 11:56 am

      U deserve every sort of abuse you can get. coz ur the worst kind of people around. #Slavementallity. #itzGreenWherWEfrom! #Foodisplenty #GodBlessesUs #GodLovesUs – So take ur ungrateful ass and go live in the middle eastern sand on a corner by urself.

    • Ewa

      March 15, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Why this Vitriol????

  6. Gina

    March 15, 2017 at 3:12 pm


    Has your commenting policy changed? or did you employ a new staff who is not aware of your polices, to man comments review and approval?

    Why is @jabawale Kingdom’s hate speeches being approved? why have they not been removed?

    @bella please note that this is across all major topics that you have posted.
    I hope you get to read this.

    Thank you

  7. Papermoon

    March 15, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    The fact that they CAN be banned also means people can choose not to ban them. When looking for a job, do your research and find where outward display of religion is not banned and work there. Just as you have the right to your religion, someone else has his /her right to be secular. Well, many of these European countries are secular so if you choose to live there, it is assumed you knew about the rule in Rome before you went there.

    If you are a citizen, then push for the laws to be changed. Until then……well

    • Zedzed

      March 15, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Your comment is really daft, I’m sorry, but it’s just the truth. Secular country means a separation between Church (and mosque if you want) and State (ie Country). It has absolutely nothing to do with the personal practice of a religion. On the contrary it guarantees everyone the freedom to practice their religion as long as they are not infringing on anyone’s rights.

    • Papermoon

      March 15, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      Where in the law were people told not to read their holy books ? Where in the law were you told not to pray to who ever you believe in among other things? In which part of they law are people prevented from practising their religion?

      A grown up would have still disagreed with me without insulting me.
      With this your attitude, which religion do you practice again? You do not give a account of your religion at all…

    • Papermoon

      March 15, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      And who said secularism has to do with only church? Hhhmmm..

  8. Idomagirl

    March 15, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    They banned all religious symbols not just hijabs.
    Enough with this sensationalism abeg.

  9. Me

    March 15, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Quick to insult and when you pay back they cry foul.

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