October 18, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10267

Islamists Say Top European Court Decision Allowing Employers To Ban Headscarves 'Isolates' Muslim Communities, Was 'Tailored' To Target Muslim Women

October 18, 2022
Special Dispatch No. 10267

On October 13, 2022, the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that employers in the European Union can ban the wearing of headscarves as long as the banning is general and does not discriminate against employees. In its decision in the case concerning a Muslim woman who was told by a Belgian company that she could not wear the headscarf, the court ruled that "the internal rule of an undertaking prohibiting the visible wearing of religious, philosophical, or spiritual signs does not constitute direct discrimination if it is applied to all workers in a general and undifferentiated way." Reacting to the court's decision, which was shared widely by Arab media outlets, Islamist figures and Muslim Twitter users condemned it, saying the ruling was "tailored" to target Muslim women and that it further isolates Muslim communities.


Commenting on an Al-Jazeera report about the decision, the Secretary-General Of The Qatar-based and funded the International Union Of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) 'Ali Al-Qaradaghi, with 573,000 followers on Twitter, tweeted: "What kind of justice is this? Why all this oppression? Are hijab-wearing women not part of the European community? Why all these violations against religiosity and religious freedom? European regimes claim that they do not seek to isolate Muslims and they impose laws that further isolate them."[1]

Islamist author Dr. Sami Ameri, with over 174,000 followers on Twitter, also commented on the decision by accusing the court of "tailoring" its ruling to target Muslim women. Ameri then added: "They impose nudity and homosexuality by force in our countries and they ban [women from] covering up [their bodies] in their countries. I would not say this is the law of the jungle but rather it is the law of whorehouses."[2]

Jordan-based Twitter user Nossabos shared an Al-Jazeera tweet about the decision and commented: "If we had an Islamic court similar to the European court, we would have decided to force women to wear hijab everywhere including non-Muslim women in our countries." She then mocked those who accuse the Taliban in Afghanistan of forcing women to wear the hijab.[3]

Commenting on the court's ruling, Dr. Fawzia Al-Ashmawi, the president of the European Muslim Women Forum stressed that "it violates article 18 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" according to the Abu Dhabi-based website[4]

Kuwaiti physicist Dr. Fahad Al-Awadi argued that the decision meant to "reduce the number of Muslim communities" in Europe "without using violence as they did in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that is by targeting their religious freedom [rights]... and by spreading homosexuality and teaching it in schools."[5]

In her comment, Kuwaiti Twitter user Eiman Al-Shami asked: "If Europe-based companies can deny homosexuals employment based on the desire of the employer?" after stressing that "Hijab is not a symbol but a [religious] obligation for all Muslim women," Al-Shami mocked those who are condemning Iran because it imposes hijab on women.[6]

Tunisian Twitter user Jihen Nacer described the decision as "this is the European way of justice." She then added sarcastically: "It is important that you do not forget their lectures on human rights, animal rights and aliens' rights."[7]


[1], October 13, 2022.

[2], October 13, 2022.

[3], October 13, 2022.

[4], October 13, 2022.

[5], October 13, 2022.

[6], October 14, 2022.

[7], October 14, 2022.

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