Banning My Hijab Is Like Banning Me From Praying

The European Court of Justice gave employers the right to ban employees from wearing hijab.
03/14/2017 09:02 am ET Updated Mar 14, 2017

It is absolutely fine to dislike hijab, to see it unnecessary or ugly. I will respect your opinion. But it is certainly a clear discrimination when you prevent me from wearing it.

European Court of Justice (ECJ) gave employers the right to ban employees from wearing hijab under the pretext that the ban on visible wearing of political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination.

Asking employees to be “neutral” is absurd and discriminatory. It is like asking them to be of no apparent sex, or color or race. Instructing employees not to discuss politics or show any political or philosophical affiliations at work is legitimate however it is not the same as banning Muslim women from wearing hijab.

This ruling makes it obvious that the court does not understand what hijab is for a Muslim woman. Wearing a hijab is not an accessory, it is part of the religion, and so banning it is like asking me not to pray.

Preventing women from wearing hijab at the workplace - or in any place for that matter - is like giving racists the green light to continue harassing them because of their religion. If a customer doesn’t like dealing with a Muslim employee, she/he can simply choose not to deal with this particular employee. It is a simple solution that gives the right of choice to everyone involved in the process.

It is extremely frustrating to see the amount of controversy and debate the hijab is causing when it should not be an issue at all. It was equally frustrating when many fiercely attacked Nike Pro Hijab line for athletes meanwhile Muslim women were welcoming and raving about it. Those against it claimed that Nike was “stylizing oppression”, because to them hijab is a tool to oppress women; a claim that is completely illogical. How could a woman be an athlete who practices the sport of her choice and then call her oppressed! It doesn’t make any sense.

The ECJ ruling accommodates the racism of some clients and could lead to employees getting fired not based on their incompetence but based on who they are. This was the case of a French IT consultant who was fired from her job because a client did not like her hijab.

It is irrational to then wonder why Muslims fail to integrate, because whenever they try hard they are met with resistance. 

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