(Archbp C) is EU Court moving toward a ban on Christians wearing crosses in the workplace?

This isn’t the headline in most of the UK media, for some reason, which appears to prefer singling out Muslims and hijabs. There’s nothing quite like a bit of Islamomania in a morning to go with your toast and marmalade, is there? ”˜Top EU court adviser backs workplace Muslim headscarf ban”˜, says the BBC. ”˜EU’s top judge backs workplace ban on headscarves”˜, writes the Independent. ”˜Senior EU lawyer backs workplace ban on Muslim headscarves”˜, proclaims the Guardian., above a picture of Muslim women wearing sky-blue burqas (which the Guardian calls a ”˜headscarf’) emblazoned with the stars of the EU flag. ”˜Top European Union court adviser says employers should be allowed to ban Islamic headscarves”˜, says the Evening Standard, while the Express goes with: ”˜Bosses can ban Muslims wearing headscarves at work”˜.

It’s left to the Telegraph to take a more equitable and accurate approach to headlines: ”˜Bosses can ban headscarves and crucifixes, EU judge says”˜, they write (noting that ”˜crucifix’ sounds a bit meatier than ”˜cross’ in the spectrum of hallowed bling). But even this doesn’t extend to kippahs, tichels, turbans or karas. Why not just say: ”˜Bosses can ban religious clothing and jewellery in the workplace’? Or does that leave hanging the fuzzy question of facial hair? Should hirsute tendencies be exempt? If so, why?

The legal opinion (HERE in full) was issued by Juliane Kokott, an Advocate General to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), in response to clarification sought by a Belgian court on what precisely is banned under anti-discrimination laws, following the dismissal of a receptionist who refused her employer’s request not to wear her hijab at work.

Read it all.


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