Muslim-Jewish Group Organizes Rally For Equal Employment Opportunities

A Muslim-Jewish organization in Germany held an interfaith rally last week to promote equal employment opportunities for people who wear religious head coverings. Their message? "My head, my choice."

Salaam-Shalom organized the July 14 demonstration in response to news that Betul Ulusoy, a Muslim law school graduate, had been denied a trainee job at a law office in the Neukölln neighborhood of Berlin.

Ulusoy was reportedly denied the position because of her headscarf. After appearing at the office for an interview, Ulusoy says, she was told her scarf constituted an "official business problem" that needed to be "assessed." Ulusoy complained about the incident on Facebook, though local mayor Falko Liecke denied that it constituted discrimination.

Germany's neutrality law prohibits headscarves in police forces, judicial services and schools, notes news outlet Der Tagesspiegel. But for trainees like Ulusoy, there are frequently exceptions.

Roughly 100 people gathered in front of the Neukölln town hall for the rally, according to Berlin-based photojournalist Yuichiro Tashiro. More than 20 local businesses and organizations signed on to Salaam-Shalom's initiative, the group's website reports. Other's showed their support by tweeting the hashtag #myheadmychoice.