Do Not Legalize Discrimination in the Workplace

Target: Mr. Koen Lenaerts, President of the European Court of Justice

Goal: Overturn decision that prohibits employees wearing religious symbols in the workplace.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that signs of religious faith should not be outwardly exhibited at the place of work, a decision that will directly affect Muslim women and other religious minorities. The court has cleared a Belgian employer that fired a Muslim employee, stating that since the company’s policy did not single out a problem with her headscarf, her layoff should not be taken as religious prejudice. The court dangerously turned a blind eye to rising anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe and failed to protect religious liberty and minority rights by endorsing discrimination under the guise of neutrality. It opened a tricky precedent that is likely to be seized by right-wing nationalists and, therefore, should be boldly questioned.

In the case ruled by the European Court of Justice, the Belgian employer had a policy prohibiting the use or the display of signs of religious faith and relied upon this internal regulation to fire a Muslim receptionist who insisted on using her hijab. According to the judges, the company’s internal rule did not constitute direct discrimination since there was no mention to headscarves or any other symbols and the principle of neutrality would therefore prevail. Though formally reasonable, it is undeniable that the ruling opened the door to “indirect discrimination,” as companies might try to exclude Muslim workers by imposing a seemingly neutral internal policy. Religious minorities usually display symbols of religious faith and denying its use is restricting their rights.

The European Court of Justice is a higher court and, consequently, its decisions have a far-reaching potential and influence the national legislature. It is problematic that this superior court has not clearly favored Muslims and other religious minorities. Sikh turbans and Jewish skullcaps may also be suppressed, in a worrisome spread of intolerance. Celebration by prominent European right-wing figures in the wake of the ruling is a chilling sign of the court’s wrong move. The European Court of Justice cannot embolden bigotry and hate. Sign the petition and urge that this ruling is overturned and that the court rules for a more tolerant world.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Lenaerts,

The recent decision of the European Court of Justice is at apparent odds with the importance of reaffirming the principles of unity all over Europe. The continent has been witnessing rising anti-Muslim sentiment, along with other forms of intolerance and bigotry. By stating that signs of religious faith can be banned from the workplace under the principle of neutrality, the court gives a wrong message and further spreads the culture of intolerance that has become stronger in the past years.

I urge you to reconsider your decision and allow signs of religious faith in the workplace. Send a positive message to the world about the importance of religious freedom and friendly and pacific coexistence of all religions.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: tian yake

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3 Comments

  1. Don´t sign this petition. muslin(no capital for those) had abused everyone for centuries, including their women and female children to a level behind imagination. Europe is Europe and we want to be different like there are other continents each of them with their own characteristics, we want the world to be diverse, not all muslin alike even because only evil comes from that cult. Is not even a religion, How come anyone can think they are right to choose that when they allow pedophilia,women to be slaves and to be sexual slaves, to be sold in a contract as soon as they have 1 year, Most people defend them when they don’t know what islam is about. Is pure evil, nasty bitch, son of the devil. I will speak the truth and those in favor are people who agree with pedophilia, with all abuse to women, with a go back much much back society, where there is no freedom, no choice, no nothing and I would prefer no to be born than to be a woman in an islam country.Open your eyes. They impose those black awful signs to everyone, not a discreet cross like some people use in necklaces, this is inadmissible and when in their countries, we can’t do so many things,… and these stupid populist left mental retard keep impose to the majority the way they think, they are the nazi, the dictators who had impose and keep doing so, even when is proved to be wrong. All the crisis in Europe is due to immigrants, refugees, migrants there is a limit. Now they try to tell us>>Oh listen we need to continue to be massacred in order for these shit people muslin, migrants, immigrants to have they dream fulfill, to have a good life…how about the life of the ones who built these European countries with their work, sweat, savings, discounting for the system and now they had been losing all to give a chance for these people. The basic rule was these people should had been long ago in demographic control to start with and than people from other countries would teach them to improve and built a society like they so much desire and want. Not only they want to come here, but than they also never recognize they must be humble and ready to learn in their own countries, their governments. Evem countries in africa with all done, ready to go, after the colonizers left (who had done all, left their money and efforts there), they just destroy all in a way or another. They turn into violence and imposition. These people can’t be happy in any country and that’s why there is always problems and in general, is always the same kinds, the immigrants from africa, from middle east and gipsies also, because they need in their places, where they had born to learn a lot, to have education and think more open, to have a chance of integration, but they just procreate and are to many so no chance of education, or anything, in their countries overcrowded with poor people. Also we always had enough people without jobs in Europe so no point for those to come, they just took jobs, increase violence and crime, rape women, and make work rules and payments go down the pipes. If you use your brain you will see all I say is pure truth, only some stupid left wing and some thinking they are the most solidarity (usually in front of tv cameras that’s all, why they don’t give up their comfortable life, job and go to help the ones they speak about? Instead of imposing to others to pay for those people when we don’t want?And where is my freedom to choose who should be living in my country? If a certain people usually cause disturbance, kill, rape why do I need to take with that? So why don’t you allow any other to abuse you? At your work place etc but muslin can? african people can? Just because they come with the demagogic rhetoric of racism (which in in fact is against white people)or the invention of islamophobia?? And the racism and whitephobia africa&muslin have against all? That’s them who want to come, we didn’t beg for them to come, the door is open to go out back where they came from. But oh no, never unfortunately. Stop allowing media and some nazi left wing to make your heads.

    • I appreciate the points you’ve brought up, many of which I agree with, however I am still signing the petition.
      I agree that Islam is a very oppressive religion, especially toward women, children, and animals. Other religions are very oppressive as well, such as Judaism – oppressive toward women, children, animals, and non-Jews; and Hinduism – oppressive toward women, and having their caste system, for example.
      This law – allowing companies to ban wearing certain items – would FURTHER discriminate against Muslim WOMEN, and FURTHER marginalize them. They would not be able to work, and have to stay at home and be isolated. This law allows for MORE abuse of women, not less.
      As well, I think you’ve bought into the propaganda that these immigrants are just a bunch of rapists and killers. Maybe try reading some alternative news and news from other countries around the world to get a different stories and viewpoints.

    • Dude, you seriously have some issues you need to work out and I can tell you are using more emotion than logic. Several religions and races of people have abused others for centuries. By your logic, we shouldn’t be tolerant of more than half of the people of the world and consider most people evil. What one chooses to believe in is there own business. Believing in a religion and actually practicing all it may say within it are two different things. People are free from religion and people are free to believe in religion. That is how it works here.

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