22 October 2012
A German Court Fines A Dentist for Refusing to Employ A Muslim Headscarfed Woman
(QNA) -A German court has ordered a dentist to pay 1,500 euros ($1,966) in damages to a young muslim woman because she declined to remove her headscarf.
The Muslim headscarfed woman had applied for an assistant's job in his dental practice but the dentist had admitted he had refused to employ the woman because she declined to remove her headscarf, a court spokesman has said.
"The dentist broke the law because he refused the plaintiff the position only because she didn't want to take off her headscarf," the spokesman for the Berlin industrial tribunal said.
The move was against non-discrimination laws, he said adding the court had ordered the dentist to pay 1,500 euros ($1,966) in damages to the young woman who had applied for an assistant's job in his dental practice.
The Tagesspiegel newspaper said the decision, made in March but only reported Thursday, was a first, and that the court had insisted the headscarf was not optional but an expression of religious belief, which was unaffected by the fact some Muslims chose not to wear it.
At the hearing, the dentist had acknowledged the woman was qualified for the position but argued his refusal to employ her stemmed from the right to religious neutrality. The federal office for fighting discrimination welcomed the ruling.
"It clearly says that women cannot be discriminated against in their access to employment because of their religious convictions," its chief, Christine Lueders, said in a written statement issued here Thursday.
The Islamic headscarf has been the subject in recent years of heated political debate in Germany, home to around four million Muslims and the biggest Turkish community outside Turkey.
The federal constitutional court, the country's top tribunal, has ruled that each of Germany's 16 states has the right to make its own law on whether to permit teachers to wear the Muslim headscarf in public schools.(QNA)
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