**PARIS (JTA) — European rabbis condemned an E.U. court’s ruling allowing firms to prohibit employees’ religious clothes and symbols, saying the ruling amounts to saying that “faith communities are no longer welcome.”
The ruling Tuesday by the European court of justice in Luxembourg also said that customers cannot simply demand that workers remove headscarves if the company has no policy barring religious symbols. “An internal rule of an undertaking which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination,” the court said in a statement.
The ruling came amid a rise in the popularity of anti-Muslim politicians in Europe over the proliferation of jihadist attacks on the continent and ethnic and religious tensions.
“Europe is sending a clear message; its faith communities are no longer welcome,” Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said.
One of the lawsuits that led to the ruling was by an employee of the Belgian branch of G4S, the London-listed outsourcing and security company.
In the second case, design engineer Asma Bougnaoui was fired from a consultancy firm, Micropole, following a complaint from a customer who claimed his staff had been “embarrassed” by her headscarf.