Antwerp: Muslims want complete neutrality

The Antwerp trade union representative Badia Miri says that if Muslim women working for the municipality can't wear a veil while dealing with clients in order to guarantee neutrality, then the city shouldn't be putting out Christmas trees in the municipality building, or passing out Easter eggs.

Miri is one of seven Muslim women who must take off their veil if they want to continue working by the city counter. Of the seven Antwerp municipal workers who had worn a veil by the counter, three had taken it off. Other positions were sought for the others. Nobody was fired. However, there is still opposition to the clothing regulations which were implemented in March. The seven Muslims are now pushing for truly enforcing neutrality.

"The Antwerp city council claims that neutrality suffers if personnel wear a cross or veil," says Miri. But she says that their experience is that action is taken only against the Muslim women. "If the city council is truly committed to neutrality than there should be no more Christmas trees or Easter eggs at work." Miri says they want a place where they can report all infringements of the clothing regulations.

Source: HLN (Dutch)

See also: Antwerp: Protest against veil ban , Antwerp: Municipal veil ban drawing protest, Brussels: Veil forbidden


Anonymous said...

I suppose wearing christmas trees or easter eggs as a headdress are also forbidden when working on the city counters.

So what are they complaining about?
That muslims also get free paid holidays on all European christian or pagan holidays?

FreeSpeech said...

Easter Eggs are a pre-christian fertility symbol,

Christmas trees can be traced to the winter solstice, when twigs of evergreen trees were placed inside houses - another pre-christian habit.

The church was not happy with this ritual, when it eventually was associated with christmas, and this is why it took a long time before the christmas tree was widespread in the 19th century only.


As so often, fundamentalists excel in ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Easter eggs and Christmas trees are not religious. They are part of the secularized version of Christmas - along with Santa Clause. She would have a point if the government put a nativity scene on public property. That's different. Essentially, she is asking people to give-up their national holidays. Perhaps the muslim would like people to stop celebrations involving a country's independence, or war victories, or other secular festivals.