Tag Archive: case

HIJAB BAN: First time anyone’s talked sense about banning headscarf

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BANNED: Under a possible new ruling, all religious and political symbols could be banned in the workplace

BANNED: Under a possible new ruling, all religious and political symbols could be banned in the workplace

An EU court adviser has said that companies should be allowed to ban Islamic headscarves from the workplace, but only if all other religious and political symbols are banned as well, in a move that’s a victory for common sense.

The opinion was issued by Juliane Kokott, an Advocate General to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) who said that while an employee cannot 'leave their sex, ethnicity, age or disability at the door', he or she may be expected to moderate exercise of religion in the workplace.

The long-debated topic arose once again after a Belgian court sought clarification on what is banned by EU anti-discrimination laws.

In the case, a receptionist wore her headscarf to work and was subsequently fired for wearing it.

Claimant Samira Achbita told the court how she was being discriminated against on the grounds of her religion.

SYMBOLIC: The latest EU ruling suggests an ‘all or nothing’ policy when it comes to banning religious or political symbols

SYMBOLIC: The latest EU ruling suggests an ‘all or nothing’ policy when it comes to banning religious or political symbols

The latest opinion by Ms Kokott suggests that if visible religious or political symbols are banned as part of company dress code or uniform policy, the hijab should not be exempt as it falls under exactly the same category.

Likewise, if such symbols are allowed in the workplace, so should the hijab.

The advocate general's findings are not binding but the EU court typically follows the adviser's recommendation.

A ruling from the European Court of Justice is expected later this year. The Belgian court will rule on the matter thereafter.

The wearing of headscarves or full-face veils has been an increasingly touchy debate in Europe between the forces of secularism and some sections of the continent’s Muslim community.

There are already some headscarf bans in schools and public institutions in Belgium and France whilst protests have been seen by women donning the hijab, calling them ‘liberating’ not ‘oppressing’.

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FBI help in Bangladesh murder case

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DEMONSTRATION: Hundreds gathered following the death of Avjit Roy to protest the attack

DEMONSTRATION: Hundreds gathered following the death of Avjit Roy to protest the attack

Investigation continues into death of secular blogger, killed by machete- wielding assailant

America’s top crime agency has been called in to help investigate the murder of an American-Bangladeshi who was hacked to death in Dhaka last month.

Avijit Roy, an atheist blogger and engineer of Bangladeshi origin, was killed by machete-wielding assailants on Thursday 26th February as he returned from a book fair.

His wife, who also writes for the blog, suffered serious injuries, including the loss of a finger and head injuries.

Despite the main suspect being detained by the nation’s authority, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has now been called in to help investigate the case.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police spokesman, Monirul Islam, said: “An FBI team might come to Dhaka this week to assist in our investigations of the killing of writer and blogger Avijit Roy.”

Roy had allegedly received death threats before his trip to Bangladesh from Islamists, with one online statement posted two months before his arrival, calling for his murder.

Bangladesh's anti-terrorism unit said it had arrested the main suspect in the case, Farabi Shafiur Rahman, in Dhaka on Monday.

Rahman has been jailed in the past for his ties to the extremist Hizbut Tahrir Islamist group and is reported to have confessed to the killing.

It is not the first time a secular blogger has been attacked in the South Asian nation.

In 2013, Muslim militants targeted several bloggers who had demanded capital punishment for Islamist leaders convicted of war crimes during Bangladesh's 1971 war for independence.

One blogger, Ahmed Rajib Haider, was killed that year near his home in Dhaka after he led one such protest.

In 2004, secular writer and Dhaka University professor Humayun Azad was attacked while returning home from a Dhaka book fair and later died in Germany while undergoing treatment.

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