Najla Ainouz, a 25 year old Moroccan immigrant to Denmark, was fired from her job for the Foetex supermarket for wearing a hijab headscarf in violation of an employment contract that forbids workers from displaying any religious symbols and also forbids really dramatic hair colors and nose rings. Her union sued the supermarket but Denmark's high court ruled against Ainouz and her union.
Europe's controversy over the wearing of Islamic headscarves took a new twist yesterday when Denmark's high court ruled against a supermarket cashier who was sacked for wearing a hijab.
In Denmark, successive governments have refused to legislate on the issue, leaving companies to decide for themselves.
This decision follows on the heels of the controversy in France and Germany over government restrictions on religious headscarf wearing. The difference in the Danish case is that it involved a decision made by a private company. The Danish court decision may not be a green light for a ban of all religious headgear by all Muslim workers because if headscarf wearing became more widespread among Muslim women a company's ban on headscarfs would end up causing the company to employ much fewer Muslim women than were present in the population at large.
My own view is that private organizations should be free to enforce rules that have greater impact on particular religious or other groups because the decisions of private organizations ought to be considered protected by a right to free association. People should be free to associate preferentially with whoever they prefer and that ability to exercise those preferences should extend all the way to the power of manager to choose who to hire.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 December 22 12:06 AM Civilizations Clash Of|