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Sacred Mysteries: Nothing to fear from 
a turban or a kippah

A Sikh policeman on duty at the gates of Downing Street
A Sikh policeman on duty at the gates of Downing Street Credit: Janine Wiedel Photolibrary / Alamy 

An employer may prohibit “the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign”, the European Court of Justice ruled this week.

The court was considering two cases of Muslim women wearing headscarves, but the judgment could extend to a Jewish kippah, a Sikh turban or a Christian cross.

“This ruling simply extends what France has been practising for years, in disrespecting all faiths equally,” said the Sikh spokesman, Harmander Singh. “It is a slap in the face to those people of faith who made the ultimate sacrifice to liberate Europe, including those Sikhs who declined to wear tin helmets but fought at the front line wearing their religion’s most visible attire, the turban.”

The court declared that employers could not pick and choose which religion’s insignia to ban, but could adopt a “position of neutrality” forbidding all equally.

In response, for the Church of England,...

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