European Union court allows religious symbol bans

The European Court of Justice has ruled that companies may bar staff from wearing Islamic headscarves and other visible religious symbols under certain conditions, setting off a storm of complaint from rights groups and religious leaders. In its first ruling on a volatile political issue across Europe, the Court of Justice (ECJ) found a Belgian firm which had a rule barring employees who dealt with customers from wearing visible religious and political symbols may not have discriminated against a receptionist dismissed for wearing a headscarf. A campaign group backing the women said the ruling could shut many Muslim women out of the workforce.



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