The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), US largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation, has condemned a decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) allowing companies to ban hijab.
On Thursday, the Luxembourg-based ECJ ruled on cases brought by two Muslim women in Germany who were suspended from their jobs after they started wearing a hijab.
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The women were told by their respective employers that they were not allowed to wear Islamic attire, and were at different times suspended and told not to come to work wearing them.
The ECJ ruled that employers may prohibit the wearing of visible “political, philosophical, or religious” symbols if they need to present a “neutral image towards customers or to prevent social disputes.”
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said, “The freedom to practice one’s faith, including by wearing a hijab in the workplace, is a fundamental human right. The decision by this European court infringes on the religious liberty of European Muslims and represents the latest example in a disturbing pattern of global Islamophobia. We stand in solidarity with the European Muslim community as they work to address this unjust, irrational and bigoted ruling.”