A German dental practice which refused to hire a young Muslim woman because she insisted on wearing a headscarf at work broke the law, it was reported. The court ruling is the first of its kind for the country. A young Berlin woman applied last summer for a traineeship to become a dental assistant. Despite being qualified and getting along with staff, she was told that she could not have the position unless she removed her hedscarf. This was religious discrimination, the city s labour court ruled. A hedscarf was not an "arbitrary piece of clothing" but an expression of her beliefs and wearing it was part of her right to religious freedom. Refusing to employ because of her headscarf was in breach of the Equal Treatment Act, the judge said. The court also rejected the suggestion that headscarves could pose a hygiene risk to patients. There was no more chance of transferring bacteria with a scarf than there was via human hair, the judge said.
Source: Noor Al Islam, NO. 159-160.