Gertraud M decided to wear the full face veil after being diagnosed with terminal cancer but was fired after she refused to take it off at work
A MUSLIM woman who was fired after she started wearing a full face headscarf was not the victim of discrimination, an Austrian supreme court has ruled.
The woman, identified only as Gertraud M, sued her workplace when she was fired for wearing the full veil, which she started wearing after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
But the Austrian Supreme court backed the law office employer, who had argued that its employees needed a visible face for communication and that the decision was not discrimination.
The woman, from lower Austria, had offered to remove her veil while dealing with members of the public but was knocked back with the argument that her communication with office colleagues would also be affected.
She had previously worn a headscarf but started wearing the full face veil when she got cancer.
She told the court in Vienna: “I was diagnosed with cancer and was told I had three months, maybe a year to live. I started to wear the veil to already be closer to Allah.
“I had considered not doing it because some problems would be predictable of course but my heart cried afterwards so I started covering my face.”
She said she could not understand why her employer had a problem with her full face veil, arguing her children could understand her when she was veiled in public, The Express reported.
She said: “I want to make a contribution to society, not to just be at home among other Muslims or only among women but a part of society cannot deal with the face veil.
“Many are just afraid of it because of media reports about terrorist attacks.”
But the court accepted her employer’s argument that a visible face was one of the basic necessities for communication in the workplace.
I want to make a contribution to society, not to just be at home among other Muslims or only among women but a part of society cannot deal with the face veil