Judge Juliane Kokott (pictured) not only ruled against a Muslim woman’s demand to wear the hijab at work, she also issued some good news for European businesses.
An entitled Muslim woman decided one day that she would begin wearing a hijab to work, daring her employer to challenge her Islamic superiority. When she was fired for violating the company’s strict policy, she threatened to sue them in a supreme court. However, as soon as she thought she had her boss for racism and discrimination, the judge had some shocking news for her.
Samira Achbita wasn’t always a Muslim elitist who believes that the majority should cater to her every religious whim. In fact, for over three years in her employment as a receptionist at G4S British security firm located in Belgium, she never once had a problem with the company’s dress code and policy for a neutral environment. As soon as she converted to Islam, however, she demanded that her employer grant her special privilege by exempting only her from their business code.
Radioverslag reports that in 2006, Achbita was fired for wearing a hijab to work after being warned that no employee was allowed to wear any head gear. Although she knew about the company’s open stance against any employee displaying articles concerning religious or political affiliation, she decided that she was a victim of racist discrimination, and she was determined to sue for thousands in damages.
After her case was dismissed in court, she decided to take it all the way to Belgium’s Court of Cassation, a supreme court of last resort. With the rise in catering to Islam and political correctness over the last decade, Achbita believed she not only had a good chance of winning her discrimination case but that she’d get a hefty amount of money for the alleged persecution she faced. Unfortunately for her, she couldn’t have been more wrong.
After 10 years of battling for entitlement to wear the Islamic hijab against company rules, Achbita was told by the judge that not only was the court ruling against her discrimination case, but that all companies in the EU can ban Muslim employees from wearing headscarves as long as they have a rule that states that workers must refrain from religious and political symbolism, according to the EU Observer.
The headscarf ban “may … be justified in order to enforce a legitimate policy of religious and ideological neutrality pursued by the employer,” Juliane Kokott, a German advocate general at the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg, said in a statement on Tuesday (31 May). Kokott said G4S was right to have a no-symbol policy “because of the special nature of the work which G4S employees do” and because Muslim scarves or other religious paraphernalia would have “a defining impact … on the image of the firm.”
Kokott added that businesses must first establish “a general company rule” that bans religious symbols of any kind, adding that it must be “proportional” to all ideologies to be fair. Since Christians and Jews would not be allowed special rights in the workplace, Muslims should adhere to this rule just like everyone else.
Of course, Achbita is outraged at the court’s decision to make her comply with the rules like a common non-Muslim. Comparing not covering her hair to exposing her genitals, she dramatically complained that she’d rather be killed than go outside without her head covering, a punishment some Islamic countries would oblige.
“That to me is the same as going to work without pants or sweater. I’d rather die,” Achbita whined.
In a Sharia governed country, Achbita would get her way. In fact, a business would be shut down for even asking a Muslim woman to remove her legally mandatory hijab, since women have no choice in Islam. With her case’s dismissal, Achbita got a taste of real democracy. While many would argue that she should be allowed to wear her hijab in accordance with her religious beliefs, that would require cessation of true equality. When Muslims are allowed to adhere to their supremacist right that often deny the rights of others, they are erected far above the rest of us and are not at all equal.
Still, there can never be absolute equality, as long as there is diversity. The wonderful thing about diversity is it’s diverse — no two belief systems are the same. Therefore, if one believes it is better than the rest and deserves special treatment, how can it ever be equal? Allowing it to do as it pleases would be seen as favoritism, and disallowing it is quickly labeled discrimination.