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Woman to sue Austrian over job denial for headscarf

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

Birgül Yücel is preparing to file a lawsuit against an Austrian doctor who rejected her job application because she was wearing headscarf. The headscarf, also referred to as hijab, is "a radical religious symbol" according to Dr. Anton Glöcklhofer.

The rejection echoes a similar incident in Germany's Stuttgart where a dentist rejected to hire a woman applying to be an assistant, on the grounds that she was wearing hijab. Thirty-two-year Birgül Yücel is a Turkish woman who lives in Austria's Bregenz who applied for a job as a doctor's assistant and also got rejected in the same manner.

Replying via e-mail, the doctor told her she cannot be and will not be employed because of her headscarf.

"Ms. Yücel, I have to reject your application. I think you did not consider that I will never employ someone openly wearing radical religious symbols. Your headscarf does not conform with European culture and you will never find a proper job as long as you wear it," the doctor told in response, according to the e-mail published by Anadolu Agency (AA).

Speaking to AA, Yücel said she was worried because of the doctor's "Islamophobic and discriminatory reply."

Yücel said she would file a lawsuit.

"It is his right to employ any one he likes but it is not his right to use such expressions," she said.

Glöcklhofer confirmed the email and told AA he stood by his reply to Yücel.

"The hijab is a religious symbol and I don't want someone wearing it working for me. I wouldn't hire a nun wearing a cross too. I don't like people who cannot separate their religion and secular affairs," he said.

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