Sunday, October 22, 2006


I’ve been following the story of “veil row” teacher, Aishah Azmi, who was suspended from her teaching job in Yorkshire for wearing her veil and refusing to remove it in front of a male teacher. Aishah took her case to tribunal and was awarded £1,000 for “injury to her feelings”. The tribunal ruled that Aishah had been victimised by school chiefs. However they rejected her claims that she had been harassed and discriminated against because of her religion. Former foreign minister Jack Straw added fuel to the fire by stating that Muslim women should “drop the veil”.

In a similar case, BA check-in worker Nadia Ewelda was suspended from her job for wearing a small gold cross (a symbol of Christianity) around her neck. BBC Newsreader Fiona Bruce was also banned from wearing a cross around her neck by BBC governors who stated that it could “cause offence to people of other religions”.

It all seems very petty and narrow-minded to me. Where will this all end? We talk about integration and equality in society and the workplace and then we have incidents like this happening. Everyone including Christians and Muslims should be entitled to their beliefs. As long as they can do their jobs, it shouldn’t matter what religious background they are from, or whether they wear a cross or veil or whatever. This is the 21st century and people shouldn’t be judged, labelled or victimised for their beliefs.

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