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JLeslie's avatar

What do you think about the EU ruling in favor of employers banning religious clothing and wearing religious symbols?

Asked by JLeslie (59833points) March 15th, 2017 from iPhone

I read the below on Daily Chatter this morning.

“Unveiling Prejudice?
The European Union’s highest court upheld companies’ right to bar employees from wearing or displaying visible religious symbols, in a judgment that differs from the recent US Supreme Court decision in a similar case.

Considering the cases of a Muslim woman from France and a Muslim woman from Belgium who were fired by their employers for wearing headscarves, the court found that companies have the right to ban religious symbols, so long as the ban applies equally to all religions, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

Skeptics suggested the decision – which hinges on its application equally to other symbols such as Christian crosses and Jewish skullcaps – might prove difficult to follow in practice, however. The director of Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia program said the ruling “opened a backdoor” for prejudice under the guise of neutrality.

Notably, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim woman who accused Abercrombie & Fitch of rejecting her job application because she wore a headscarf in 2015.”

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7 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s a very complex issue. No simple answers. Let me outline some of my thoughts:

1) The EU is once again meddling. The EU should not have that sort of power over the internal cultures of 20+ countries. This should be a national, not a supranational issue.

2) I don’t see an explanation of the rationale for banning religious wear. What’s the problem they are trying to solve?

3) I do agree with the principle that if muslim garb can be regulated, so can Christian crosses and Jewish kippot. I’m not agreeing with the underlying concept, but rather saying that consistency ought to be important, because otherwise there is intentional discrimination of or against one religion.

4) doing this type of thing – barring religious clothing of one sort or another – does not accomplish ‘genericizing’ peoples’ attitudes. If anything it makes people angrier and more militant.

5. The main and real issue is religion. If people weren’t so hepped up on their god concepts, then none of this would be an issue at all. So get to the real issue: Why do people have such wacky belief systems?

mazingerz88's avatar

Frustrating that I don’t know what to think about this. I don’t agree with controlling people’s religious expressions. I can only wonder if what if in 10 years there were no terror attacks at all in Europe? Not that that’s realistic but would that change people’s sentiments?

Unofficial_Member's avatar

It’s simple. Irrespective to religious aspect, every corporations reserved the right to dictacte what type of uniform their employees should be wearing while working in their premises. You don’t like the rule you leave, and find other business that allow you to dress the way you want it.

Religion shouldn’t be an excuse for some people to make their own rules while working under other people, what religiously matter for some people does not matter or relevant to most people and their businesses.

Sneki95's avatar

If it really is applied to all religions without exception, then I approve of it. Job is job. Keep your religion at home.

Also, if you’re at a certain place, that place has rules, and if you want to stay in that place, follow those rules.The company has the full right to tell you you can wear only certain clothes while inside the company’s building if they feel like it.

cazzie's avatar

Companies in the US have the right to not serve LGBTQ folks and that has been upheld. In practice, I don’t think this is going to evolve into companies actually banning all religious symbols at their work place. I think it’s a good idea to get rid of all of if, myself, but at least this way, they can’t pick at choose now who they judge unfit. No crosses or Star of Davids or head scarves or turbans and ceremonial little knives. Who’s going to check for the magic underwear? I really don’t think this is going to be instituted in any practical way. The court is saying, ‘All or Nothing’ and it’s going to end up… ok, then,... ‘Nothing.’

JLeslie's avatar

I guess the one wrinkle is most Christian sects don’t have a requirement regarding clothing. Orthodox Jewish men are supposed to cover their head, and married women are to cover their hair. Muslim women to wear a hijab. Christians don’t need to really confirm, they are setting the requirement to match their norm. Sure, some Christians will bitch about not being able to wear their “cross” pendent necklace, but the church doesn’t really require it, or have an expectation that the followers wear one.

I’m actually all for uniforms or rules in public K-12 schools that don’t allow any religious symbols, but for adults I’m not so sure.

LostInParadise's avatar

I disagree with the EU decision. If a person’s religious practices do not interfere with the operation of the company, I see no problem with having them expressed.

Having said that, I do have a problem with Muslim women who cover their entire face except for their eyes. Out on the street is not a problem, but having to work with them, it is like talking to a person wearing a mask.

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