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France bans ‘muhajabat’ from the workplace to "protect secularism"

13-2-2018

In its issue on Saturday, Al Diyar newspaper spotlighted the fate of the Muhajabat (veiled women) in France, reporting the case of Khadija Abiab, French-Moroccan female, who has been forced to resign from her job as an engineer at a French company the moment she decided to wear the hijab. Abiad, the newspaper wrote, had to remove her headscarf every day before entering her office in Paris in keeping with the company’s internal rules supporting the ‘principle of non-alignment’ and barring wearing any religious symbols during the working hours. Khadija recalled the psychological conflict she has lived every day which was close to schizophrenia. She tried hard to get a job elsewhere but did not succeed, which prompted her to accept a low paying remote job with a data analysis firm. According to Al Diyar, public sector institutions are not the only ones restricting the work of muhajabat; private corporations now have the right to reject the muhajabat. To this effect, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled last March that private companies can ban employees from wearing religious or political symbols. In this regard, the French writer and sociologist specializing on issues of discrimination against muhajabat in France, Hanan Karimi, considered that the successive French governments have armed themselves with secularism to legally veto the presence of muhajabat in the labor market, hence preventing them to emerge as an active and integral part of the French society. (Al Diyar, February, 2018)

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