PARIS – 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.