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Refusing job over Muslim headscarf wrong: German court

October 19, 2012

BERLIN: A German court has ruled against a dentist who admitted he had refused to employ a Muslim woman because she declined to remove her headscarf, a court spokesman said on Thursday.

“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 added.

He said 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 on 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.—AFP