Swedish court rules against veil at work

Published 15 December 2023
- By Editorial Staff
Genre image - Muslim woman with veil by the water.

A Swedish security company did not make a mistake when it denied a Muslim woman the right to wear a veil at work, a labor court has ruled.

It was the organization Civil Rights Defenders that sued the security company, and they say they are now disappointed with the outcome.

– We’re concerned about the development and we see more and more how Muslims are being challenged in society, but also in the workplace, John Stauffer, senior attorney for the human rights organization, told TT.

After some time as an employee, the woman announced that she wanted to start wearing a veil at work. She was then told that this was not allowed – partly because of her responsibility for the work environment, as the veil is considered a provocative symbol and can lead to increased threat and risk of violence.

“Regarding the actual risk assessment as such, it is obvious, in the opinion of the Labor Court, that political, philosophical and religious symbols in certain situations can be perceived as provocative for people with opposing sympathies and beliefs”, the court wrote, agreeing with the company.

Reporting Rasmus Paludan to the police

But John Stauffer argues that it is discrimination “to exclude groups of people from working life on the basis of their religious beliefs” and that the security company risks contributing to increased prejudice and “racism”.

– This is an overreach, he argues.

Civil Right Defenders will now try to “raise the case internationally”. The organization, which officially works with human rights, has previously been accused of engaging in left-wing political activism – including reporting Rasmus Paludan to the police for inciting racial hatred after he burned a copy of the Koran.

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