Turkey’s cabinet ministers have criticized a European Union court’s decision to allow employers to ban the wearing of headscarves in their workplaces, saying it is “a blow to the rights of Muslim women” and that ” it would give legitimacy to racism. “
The EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ), ruled on Thursday that private employers can prohibit workers from wearing religious symbols, including veils, in their workplaces.
In response Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, tweeted that the move would encourage Islamophobia. “The decision of the European court of justice on [headscarves] in the workplace it is another blow to the rights of Muslim women, ”she wrote. He said that he would “play the game of warmongers against Islam in Europe” and asked: “Does the concept of religious freedom now exclude Muslims?”
Fahrettin AltunErdogan’s communication director described the decision as incredible and “an attempt to give racism legitimacy.”
“Instead of exposing its dark past, Europe now seeks to embrace it,” he said. “We condemn this ruling, which violates human dignity.”
The ruling came after two separate cases were brought to German courts by Muslim women who were prevented from wearing headscarves to work. The first, a child care worker, was twice suspended from her workplace and issued a written warning for wearing her headscarf. The nursery had prohibited staff from wearing religious symbols at work.
The second woman, a pharmacy sales assistant, was told not to wear any clothing that was considered a conscious political, philosophical or religious symbol. But the worker said head covering was mandatory because of her religion and rejected the pharmacy ban.
The ECJ said that employers must show a “genuine need” for the ban, such as the “legitimate wishes” of customers, including presenting a “neutral image towards customers or to avoid social disputes.”
The headscarf issue has been divisive for years across Europe. In 2017, it was ruled that companies could prohibit staff from wearing headscarves and other visible religious symbols under certain conditions.
On Twitter, the European network against racism He said the latest ruling “would lead to justifying the exclusion of Muslim women, who are increasingly portrayed as dangerous to Europe, in the collective narrative.”