The EU’s Court of Justice says that banning Muslim headscarves in the workplace does not constitute “direct discrimination.”
The decision on Tuesday applies to private businesses, but clarifies a long-standing question about whether partial bans by some countries on religious symbols can include the workplace.
The conclusion of the highest court of the 28-nation EU amounts to a victory for French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, a leading presidential contender, who wants to do away with all “ostentatious” religious symbols in the name of secularism.
Opinions were quickly divided. A European anti-racism network ENAR and Open Society Justice Initiative say all Muslim working women risk consequences. French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon, also promoting secularism, hailed the decision.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.