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EU headscarf ban "can be legal"

HIJABS: CREDIT: HABIBA DA SILVA

WORKPLACE BANS on the wearing of "any political, philosophical or religious sign" such as headscarves has been rule as legal by Europe's top court.

This is the first decision on the issue of women wearing Islamic headscarves at work, but the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said that the ban must be based on internal company rules requiring all employees to "dress neutrally",

The ECJ's ruling was prompted by a case on the receptionist who was fired for wearing a headscarf to work at the security company G4S in Belgium.

Muslim dress and the integration of immigrant communities has been a popular discussion over the past few years, with several debates taking place in European countries about it.

The ruling came on the eve of Dutch elections, where Muslim immigration has been a frequent issue. In France, where the race to succeed President François Hollande begins, politicians on the right seized on the issue.

However, rights group Amnesty International said Tuesday's ECJ rulings were "disappointing" and "opened a backdoor to... prejudice".

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