Religious symbols, Germany and courts

It is a crux with those Germans and religious symbols. Should they be worn discreet, should the be worn open and if so, what size? A case about two women wearing an Islamic headscarf (again the Islamic headscarf and Germany) was referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) which in parts bent over backwards and tilted this way and that way. Visibly uncomfortable and it is embarrassing to read their reasoning. Just read the ‘Legal Analysis’ of the court. The UK Human Rights blog has an article about it.

Court of Justice of the EU allows prohibition of religious symbols in the workplace

“The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) sparked controversy with its recent judgment passed down in IX v Wabe eV and MH Müller Handels GmbH v MJ. This case required the CJEU to again consider the right to freedom of religion. It ruled that employers can ban workers from observing religious symbols, including headscarves, to maintain a neutral image in front of its customers.

Case Background

This ruling was brought by two Muslim women in Germany who were suspended from their jobs because of wearing a headscarf. IX and MJ, were employed in companies governed by German law as a special needs caregiver and a sales assistant respectively. They both wore the Islamic headscarf at their workplaces. The employers held the view that wearing a headscarf for religious purposes did not correspond to the policy of political, philosophical, and religious neutrality pursued with regard to parents, children, and third parties, and asked the women to remove their headscarf and suspended them from their duties on their refusal to do so. MJ’s employer, MH Müller Handels GmbH, particularly instructed her to “attend her workplace without conspicuous, large-sized signs of any political, philosophical or religious beliefs.”

IX and MJ brought actions before the Arbeitsgericht Hamburg (Hamburg Labour Court, Germany) and the Bundesarbeitsgericht (Federal Labour Court, Germany), respectively. The courts referred the questions to the CJEU concerning the interpretation of Directive 2000/78. This directive establishes a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.”

Full post here.

As the article states, Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) protects the right to manifest one’s religion and beliefs. Article 9 is often relied upon in conjunction with Article 14 of the ECHR, which prohibits discrimination based on, among other things, religion and opinions.

So far so good. But, you know, some proportionality and neutrality should be observed. Right?

However, this must be ‘proportionately’ balanced since the state has a positive obligation under Article 9(2). 

We all know, size matters and that seems to be the/one problem.

Third, the Court considered whether all visible forms of expression of political, philosophical, or religious beliefs should be prohibited or only conspicuous, large-sized signs. It noted that the latter, a limited prohibition on large signs, will have a greater effect on people with beliefs which require the wearing of a large-sized sign, such as a headscarf. As a result, some workers could be potentially treated less favourably which would amount to direct discrimination. Therefore, the policy can only be effective when absolutely no visible manifestation of religion or belief is allowed.

This reasoning in another case stuck out:

The Court held that, while this aim was undoubtedly legitimate, the UK courts accorded it too much weight. Ms Eweida’s cross was discreet and could not have detracted from her professional appearance. 

Here is another article going into some details and the author sees some hope. Meanwhile back in 2018 there was an open call to wear the kippa. Here the midget, more from the midget, the whole of Berlin was apparently (or not) wearing it.

Dear Germany, why all these coalition talks when advice is to be found in Goethe’s ‘Color Theory’?

Rose of Temperaments

Why don’t you listen to your greatest poet? He had it all laid out 200 years ago.

In ‘Theoretical principles’ he wrote:

“Primitive colors are two: red and green.”

Goethe’s circle of colors points out clear qualities of your political parties. In the inner ring: red – beautiful, yellow – good, green – useful.

In his ‘Color Theory’ he wrote about the color RED:

792. In this designation, remove everything that could give an impression of yellow or blue in the red. Think of a completely pure red, a perfect carmine dried on a white porcelain bowl. We have sometimes called this color purple because of its high dignity, although we know that the purple of the ancients leaned more toward the blue side.

796. The effect of this color is as unique as its nature. It gives an impression of seriousness and dignity as well as of grace. It achieves the latter in its dark, condensed state, the latter in its light, diluted state. And so the dignity of age and the loveliness of youth can be clothed in one color.

If we look at Goethe and Schiller’s Rose of Temperaments, red is the color of the ruler, as if one did not already know, while yellow is associated with Hedonists. So some sort of circumspection might be advised.

Goethe was an absolute fan of the color green.

It is created when the first two colors – yellow and blue – are brought together. The eye finds here a real satisfaction. The eye and the mind rest. One does not want and cannot go on. That is why this is the optimal color for rooms where you spend a lot of time.

He had certain reservations about the color yellow though:

It is the closest color to light. It has a bright, cheerful, gently charming quality. As gold it has a splendid and noble effect. It makes a warm and cozy impression and is used in painting to “illuminate”. Yellow, however, is very sensitive and acquires an unpleasant effect when it is polluted, drawn into the minus. Then the color of honor and delight becomes the color of shame, disgust and discomfort.

He went into more candid details elsewhere in his ‘Color Theory’ when he wrote:

When the yellow color is applied to impure and ignoble surfaces, such as common cloth, felt, and the like, on which it does not appear with full energy, such an unpleasant effect is produced. By a slight and imperceptible movement, the beautiful impression of fire and gold is transformed into the sensation of the disgusting, and the color of honor and delight is reversed to the color of disgrace, disgust, and displeasure. Hence may have originated the yellow hats of the banker-rotters, the yellow rings on the coats of the Jews; indeed the so-called cuckold color is really only a dirty yellow.

Lastly, should there still be any illusions about the other, the Caribbean Sea option, perish the thought. Goethe had already dealt with it. A black object on a white background looks about one fifth smaller than in the opposite case. The Prussian Reich does not need that.

So there you go, Germany.

What Germany can expect from a Scholz government

“And that brings us to Olaf Scholz, Merkel’s finance minister, and the leader of the social democrats (which were in many ways a reference for the left globally at some point in the very distant past), which are uniformly described as center-left (NYTimes here). I will not spend too much time discussing that, but I would note that a left of center government must have policies to promote the wellbeing of the working class, including higher wages and something that resembles full employment. The German Social Democrats are not that. And if Mr. Scholz manages to form a coalition government, it will be with the Greens, which will push for degrowth (on that see this old post), and perhaps with the neoliberal Free Democratic Party, mostly people that have not seen a fiscal adjustment plan they did not like. So Merkel’s legacy lives on.”

Matias Vernengo – Merkel, Scholz, the German Social Democrats and the Meaning of the Left in an excellent post.

Germany Wants To Force Gab To Censor, It’s Not Happening

Free speech is not a thing of the Krauts which is why we cross-publish GAB’s post on the attack from Germany.

“This week we received a huge packet of documents with fines and legal threats from the nation state of Germany. Gab is refusing, and has refused for many years, to comply with the German Network Enforcement Act. Gab is a US company and as such we are under zero obligation to obey foreign laws from tyrannical governments.

For those unfamiliar, the Network Enforcement Act is a draconian German law aimed at combatting “fake news” on social networking websites. “Fake news” is of course, whatever the German Government says it is.

For example this week Facebook deleted 150 accounts belonging to an anti-lockdown movement in Germany, likely at the behest of the German government under the Network Enforcement Act.

Because of Gab’s unwillingness to participate in State-mandated censorship of free speech, the German government is now coming after our bootstrapped tech startup with heavy fines and other legal action.

Gab is not a lawless website. We work diligently to stop and prevent illegal activity from taking place on our platform. We have great relationships with many foreign countries who understand and respect our position on free speech and appreciate our zero tolerance for criminal activity. The German government isn’t concerned about any actual criminal activity, they are concerned with Thought Criminals who dare to dissent against their globalist regime.

According to our legal team, who has been working with us on this issue for several months, we have three choices.

1) Obey German censorship laws and start censoring content that the German Government doesn’t like (this is not going to happen)
2) Disobey German censorship laws and pick a fight with the nation state of Germany (I likely wouldn’t ever be able to leave the US again, they would come at us from every possible angle through state-sponsored deplatforming, heavy fines, they would possibly leverage contacts in the Biden Admin to come after Gab in other ways, and Lord knows what else.)
3) Temporarily stop providing this service in Germany by blocking German IPs.

I hate everything about these choices, which is why we went public with this information to gather feedback and consensus from our community on the topic.

The overwhelming majority of people have been very supportive of the third option. Our lawyers are suggesting this option. Our community is suggesting this option. I’ve had many people email me and reach out privately to say that this is our best course of action. We seem to have a consensus.

Yet it doesn’t sit right with me.

Ultimately as the CEO of Gab I alone need to make this decision. These are the types of decisions that define a man and make history. If we block German IPs to appease the German government that sets a precedent that other countries will want to follow. We are not IP blocking ourselves into a corner here. If the German government wants to stop German IPs from accessing Gab they can block us themselves.

Why should we block an entire country from accessing Gab because their government is sending us fines we won’t pay and veiled legal threats that mean nothing to Gab as a US corporation? I won’t be able to travel to Europe anyway because I’m not getting injected with an experimental substance. On the bright side I now have a huge stack of kindling paper for my wood stove this winter.

The reality is the German government has zero authority or jurisdiction over how we operate Gab. We have no corporate entity in Germany, we have no employees in Germany, and we are not German citizens. We are Americans.

In America you play by our rules, we don’t play by yours. Germany is a guest in our community and they will respect our values and way of doing things, not the other way around. I have nothing but love for the German people and they too deserve the fundamental human right to speak freely on the internet.

Our mission is to defend free speech online for all people, everywhere. Including in Germany. We will continue to do that, regardless of any threats from foreign governments. If we bow to Germany today, what’s to stop us from bowing to literal tyrants, such as those in Russia (like Google and Apple did just last week) or China (as Apple has done for years)?

In matters pertaining to serious crime, German police forces already know how to reach us, as indeed they have done many times in the past. We will continue to respond to those requests and provide prompt assistance to those police forces on a voluntary basis. What we will not do is restrict access to, or remove, content which is legal in the United States on or from servers in the United States.

As I write this today is the day the American Constitution was signed over 234 years ago. We must stand up now to defend it and fight for the freedoms enshrined in it, which come from God, for all nations.

I’m not sure what will come of this decision, but I will not make an important choice like this from a position of fear. I leave the outcomes of this decision in the hands of God Almighty and I pray that the German people will take back their country and freedoms very soon.

Until then: wir werden nicht nachgeben, “Nuts!”. (we will not comply, Nuts!)

Andrew Torba
CEO, Gab.com
Only Jesus Saves

We expect some large legal expenses in dealing with this matter and would greatly appreciate any support. You can upgrade to GabPRO here or make a one time donation on the Gab Shop here.”