Source: The Guardian
Turkey’s cabinet ministers have criticised a European Union court’s decision to allow employers to ban headscarves from their workplaces, saying it is “a blow to the rights of Muslim women” and that it would “grant legitimacy to racism”.
The EU’s highest court, the European court of justice (ECJ), on Thursday ruled that private employers can ban workers from wearing religious symbols, including headscarves in their workplaces.
In response Ibrahim Kalin, spokesperson for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president, tweeted that the move would encourage Islamophobia. “The decision by the European court of justice on [headscarves] in the workplace is another blow to the rights of Muslim women,” he wrote. He said it would “play right into the hands of those warmongers against Islam in Europe” and asked: “Does the concept of religious freedom now exclude Muslims?”
Fahrettin Altun, Erdoğan’s communication’s director, described the decision as unbelievable and “an attempt to grant legitimacy to racism”.
“Instead of denouncing its dark past, Europe now seeks to embrace it,” he said. “We condemn this ruling, which infringes on human dignity.”
The ruling came after two separate cases were brought to German courts by Muslim women who were prevented from wearing their headscarves to work. The first, a childcare worker, was suspended twice from her place of work and issued with a written warning for wearing her headscarf. The childcare centre had banned staff from wearing any religious symbols to work.