Rights court supports French headscarf ban for hospital employee

Europe's top human rights court upholds headscarf ban in France in case of muslim woman who lost her job for refusing to remove her scarf

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Woman wearing the burqah

Europe's top human rights court has supported the headscarf ban in France in the case of a Muslim woman who lost her job at a hospital because she refused to remove her scarf.

Christiane Ebrahimian was working in the psychiatric department at a public hospital in Nanterre, but her contract in 2000 was not renewed because of her scarf which patients allegedly complained about.

Employees in public French organisations and facilities and even schoolchildren are not allowed to display religious beliefs while working according to laws of the secular French government.

In 2004, the scarf was officially banned in France becoming the first EU country to nationally forbid the public wearing of the scarf, burqa (full-face veil) and niqabs, which only leave the woman's eyes open to see.

France houses the highest number of Muslim inhabitants out of all EU member states.

Later, Belgium also banned the burqa nationwide.

In May, the Dutch cabinet had approved plans to place limits on the traditional Islamic burqa dress. Accordingly, the burqa has been banned in Dutch schools, hospitals and public transportation. A breach of the ban could result in a maximum fine of €405 ($470).

The Netherlands also banned the burqa this year. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has not banned the wearing of the burqa yet, despite a poll in 2011 indicating that 66 percent of British people supported banning the burqa in all public places.

TRTWorld and agencies