Global outrage has sparked over the European Union’s recent decision to allow employers to ban headscarves and other symbolic pieces of clothing at work. The decision comes after the highest court ruled that the “visible wearing of any religious, philosophical, or political sign” does not constitute as discrimination.
London Muslim right’s lawyer Nawaz Tahir says the new law could affect immigration:
“People will immigrate to countries like France, like Canada, like the United States, because they want to get away from whatever was taking place in their homeland. They want to come to a country where they are free and there are rights and freedoms,” says Tahir.
The lawyer also raises the issue of preference to more accepted cultures and religions. He argues that the head dress that nuns in the catholic religion wear are quite similar to hijabs that Muslim women commonly wear. However, hijabs are more likely to face oppression in European workplaces than comparable religious symbols.
“It seems odd that a country that prides themselves on rights and freedoms, actually starts to restrict things relating to rights and religions,” Tahir argues.
The ban is also not restricted to Muslim culture; It may include many common head wear, such as hijabs, turbans, burkas, and even Jewish caps.
Last year French municipalities passed a similar law banning Muslim women from swimming in what is commonly referred to as ‘burkinis’, sparking similar controversy.