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G-SCUD
20th Nov 2006, 21:24
Astonished that none of you seem to have picked up on this:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/20112006/325/ba-worker-loses-appeal-right-wear-crucifix.html
Im a confirmed atheist, but if were going to allow some people to display symbols of their personal and group delusions, why not all??

G-CPTN
20th Nov 2006, 21:32
Her argument is, apparently, that her crucifix is NOT an item of jewelry.
BA regulations allow staff to wear jewelry UNDER their clothing (uniform) but she wants an exemption to acknowledge that she needn't hide her declaration of her faith.
There is a possible N in the woodpile here as her ethnic origin is from Egypt, and she wants to openly announce that she is a Christian. Should she be allowed to exercise her wishes?

Airbus38
20th Nov 2006, 21:43
Gonna offend people here I'm sure...

You see, I personally think she's making a fuss about nothing. Just put it under your clothes, why should you proclaim it? God's everywhere, he'll know what you're doing and whether you're living a good life. Just as everybody else in the 'normal' majority doesn't proclaim how they live their life. I am straight, but don't wear a badge to stop people thinking I'm gay. I think people would be offended. I don't wear any religious symbols outwardly, or indeed anything to proclaim that "I follow no particular organised religion". Again, I'm sure people would be offended.

She's been given a uniform, and should learn what the word 'uniform' means. All she's done is fuelled the "veil" row. In this respect, I hope she gets disciplined, just as I would expect to be if I point blank refused to wear a uniform like everybody else.

Having said all that, my rant becomes irrelevant when it is noted that she's been wearing it for 7 years. In that case, the company is at fault, as they're just reacting to the "veil" issue.

Grainger
20th Nov 2006, 21:46
I would be more inclined to be sympathetic to this woman had she not made this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6165368.stm) statement:

"It is important to wear it to express my faith so that other people will know that Jesus loves them."

Of course the lady in question is entitled to her own personal beliefs but I am fairly sure that ramming her opinions down other people's throats is not part of her job description.

El Grifo
20th Nov 2006, 21:49
With Scud on this one.

However what should be good for both the goose and the gander, appear only to be good for the gander in the Yoo Kay these days (if you get my drift)

Lets keep all badges of "faith" or "delusion" out of the public eye and call it a small step towards a saner world.

Fat chance I hasten to add :ugh: :ugh: :ugh: :ugh:

hingey
20th Nov 2006, 22:48
She claimed that she was subject to discrimination as her collegues were permitted to wear their Turbans and Hijabs etc. But displaying a cross is not a requirement for any Christian going out in public, whereas the Turban and Hijab are traditional sumbols of their respective faiths.

h

AcroChik
20th Nov 2006, 22:50
When I signed on to wear the uniform of the company that employed me, there was no ambiguity. It was their uniform, not mine. It was emblazoned with their trademark. Part of my job was to enhance its value in ways they had determined ~ prior to ever meeting me ~ were in the overall best interest of the company. If I didn't like the Ts & Cs, which were made absolutely clear at the time the job was offered, I could have looked for work elsewhere.

By accepting the job and wearing of their uniform, I agreed, both implicitly and explicitly to abide by the terms and conditions of employment. These terms and conditons included matters of dress as well as matters of behavior, both toward clients of the company I represented and my colleagues.

No doubt this woman was presented with similar Ts & Cs when accepting employment, so I lack sympathy for her argument.

Meccano
20th Nov 2006, 23:07
When I signed on to wear the uniform of the company that employed me, there was no ambiguity. It was their uniform, not mine. It was emblazoned with their trademark. Part of my job was to enhance its value in ways they had determined ~ prior to ever meeting me ~ were in the overall best interest of the company. If I didn't like the Ts & Cs, which were made absolutely clear at the time the job was offered, I could have looked for work elsewhere.

By accepting the job and wearing of their uniform, I agreed, both implicitly and explicitly to abide by the terms and conditions of employment. These terms and conditons included matters of dress as well as matters of behavior, both toward clients of the company I represented and my colleagues.

No doubt this woman was presented with similar Ts & Cs when accepting employment, so I lack sympathy for her argument.

Right.
But that only applies to crucifix wearing Christians, not turban wearing Sikhs, and definitely not hijab wearing Muslimah's?
I think you missed the point.
BA are patently not applying their own rules equitably. THAT is the point.

AcroChik
20th Nov 2006, 23:10
I get the point. If a uniform isn't uniform, then it's not, well, a uniform. Once it's not a uniform, anything goes.

My thesis is that if she wants to wear the crucifix visibly, she should make the case while abiding by the rules. To my way of thinking it would give her argument more credibility, as she can say from a position of compliance, "Either permit it for all or forbid it for all," rather than adding a distracting controversy to her argument.

I failed to include this thought above 'cause my phone rang and the real world got in the way of productive Prooning.

Meccano
20th Nov 2006, 23:17
Good. Now we're talkin'.
So ya see - she has indeed got a point then.
Even as an irreligious sceptic I can see she has a point.
Good on her for standing up with it.

BA's crap excuse about hiding it under her clothes is simply avoiding the point. She should wear a 3 foot cross then, just like the 'in your face' Muslimah's would do.

MSP Aviation
21st Nov 2006, 00:24
ugh. her lawyer says it doesn't impede her responsibilities. that's not the point! a white jacket doesn't assist a doctor with his responsibilities, but it sure as shit makes him look official.

Blacksheep
21st Nov 2006, 02:05
The uniform she was wearing included a jacket and a cravat style neck scarf. She wore the cross outside, over the cravat, which directly contravenes the uniform code. The point here is what to do about other faiths. If we make it OK for the uniform code to be altered to encompass one faith, then we must do so for all. Since the cross doesn't interfere with the performance of her duties as a check in agent, I see no reason for not accommodating her desire in the dress code - specifying a plain cross of a specific size.

While serving in the RAF I remember that Sikh airmen were permitted to wear a turban, but it was a uniform turban - RAF Blue and with the RAF cap badge affixed to the front. One supposes that muslim women members of the RAF might be permitted to wear Hijab or even the Burkha as long as it is RAF Blue in colour and bears the RAF cap badge affixed to the front.

Over here in multi-cultural Asia, Singapore used common sense. It is against the law to ride a motor cycle there without wearing a crash helmet. A Sikh chap insisted that he could not remove his turban to wear a crash helmet as it was against his religion. The judge decided, and it was confirmed upon appeal, that it was therefore against the Sikh religion to ride a motor cycle in the Republic of Singapore.

We could perhaps, do with a bit of that kind of common sense in UK.

arcniz
21st Nov 2006, 02:11
Perhaps she could round the corners off a bit and then affix it to her tongue. Inspiring, discreet and tres chic.

jumpuFOKKERjump
21st Nov 2006, 02:23
Bit hard for people to make an informed decison on the topic without some more info. Found this pik of the BA employee serving a member or your pillow-biting aristocracy...

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/0/07/Blackadder_II_-_Beer.jpg

Can't see anything wrong with it myself.

Hobo
21st Nov 2006, 04:34
I might be wrong but I think strictly speaking it is not a uniform. Uniforms are worn in the military only, civilians wear a livery.

Rollingthunder
21st Nov 2006, 05:16
No, liveries are what the aircraft, ground vehicles and some buildings are painted in/with. See Chatham Dockyard Flag or Eddie Stobart.

Staff wear uniforms.

eal401
21st Nov 2006, 05:58
The solution is simple.

If she cannot openly display a crucifx, requirement of the faith or not, then BA should ban all religious articles.

Do it for one, do it for all or not at all.

CathayBrat
21st Nov 2006, 06:01
From todays Tory-graph, seems like everyone is getting involved!!! I love it when all this P.C. bul:mad: t comes to this, it makes me soooooo glad i dont live in the UK any more. But v v sad :{ its gone like this.
Archbishop blasts BA as employee loses cross appeal
British Airways came under fierce attack from the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, yesterday after it rejected an appeal by a committed Christian who is fighting to wear a small cross at work.
An appeal panel of two senior BA managers told Nadia Eweida that she will not be able to return to work at Heathrow if she will not hide the cross, which is about the size of a five pence piece.
BA said in a statement that all staff must conceal personal items such as jewellery beneath their uniforms, but it recognised that this was not practical for some religious symbols, such as turbans or hijabs.
But Dr Sentamu, the second most senior cleric in the Church of England, denounced BA's decision as "nonsense" and based on "flawed reasoning".
"The basis for the decision should not be 'practicality', as BA suggests in its statement, but rather whether it impacts on Nadia's ability to do her job. It is clear that Nadia's cross does not form an impediment to her ability to carry out her duties at the check-in counter," he said.
Under BA's current reasoning, an employee who turned up to work wearing a three foot long cross must be allowed to wear it, because to hide such a cross under their uniform would be impractical. Yet in Nadia's case a cross of less than three inches is deemed a problem."
He said that the cross was a symbol not only of Christian hopes but also of responsibility, reminding us of our duties to God and to each other.
"British Airways needs to look again at this decision and to look at the history of the country it represents, whose culture, laws, heritage and tradition owes so much to the very same symbol it would ban."
Dr Sentamu's criticism comes amid a sustained attack by Church leaders on what they regard as a tide of secularism in society that is forcing religion to the margins.
But support for Miss Eweida also came from non-religious figures, including Shami Chakrabarti, the director of the pressure group Liberty, and Ken Livingstone, the London Mayor.
After the appeal, Miss Eweida told The Daily Telegraph: "They are trying to annihilate the Christian faith by asking me to remove the cross. This is despicable and unacceptable. I should be able to go back to my old job wearing the cross with my head held high. I will not accept anything less."
She has the right to a second appeal, and she said she was prepared to argue her case even in the High Court.
Miss Eweida, 55, from Twickenham, south-west London, is currently living on handouts from local churches and the Barnabus Fund charity after being put on unpaid leave almost two months ago.
She has also been working for the Home Office as a freelance Arabic interpreter, where she says she is receiving "overwhelming support".
At Heathrow terminal four, where Miss Eweida worked, 257 BA employees signed a petition backing her.
Her case prompted a national debate on the right to wear religious symbols when it was first disclosed in October.
Ann Widdecombe, a former Tory government minister, called on the public to boycott British Airways, and Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland Secretary, described the ban as "loopy".

Evening Star
21st Nov 2006, 07:55
If we make it OK for the uniform code to be altered to encompass one faith, then we must do so for all. Since the cross doesn't interfere with the performance of her duties as a check in agent, I see no reason for not accommodating her desire in the dress code - specifying a plain cross of a specific size.

Too sensible for any large organisation to even consider!:hmm:

Dop
21st Nov 2006, 09:06
Although having seen her on the news yesterday, she is as mad as a box of frogs.

boogie-nicey
21st Nov 2006, 09:22
Isn't this all just a storm in a tea cup. Why can't she just wear the crucifix around her neck as long as it's not as large as the one worn in the black adder episode :)

Can't BA stop gambling with their publicity and causing more harm to themselves. My teacher at school wore one and it was visible ... no problems. No doubt since I've been in the workplace or even in a social setting people have worn a crucifix and again I've got no problem with that.

As a sikh I even have a picture of the last supper in my home ..... so what's the deal with all this 'religous regulation'. What's more important is how well she performs her job and nothing much else.

Can't we just get along .......

moggiee
21st Nov 2006, 11:16
I'll start with a question:

Would it be acceptable for a BA check-in desk worker to wear an inverted cross or ram's head necklace on top of their uniform at work if he/she was a Satanist?

I'm pretty sure that most people would say "of course not" - so why should it be acceptable for Mrs/Ms Eweida to wear a Christian cross? The problem with allowing Mrs/Ms Eweida to wear a cross would be - "where does it stop?"

Can I wear a Sun or Moon if I am a Pagan? Can I wear an inverted cross or ram's head if I am a Satanist? There are a million and one crank sects that mostly have some kind of visible symbology associated with them andin many cases this would be unacceptable at work.

When interviewed by the BBC, Mrs/Ms Eweida said (paraphrased because my memory is not 100%):

"I want to wear my cross openly so that if people will see that I am a Christian and if they want to talk to me about my faith they can. I know that if I see a woman wearing a Hijab and another who is not, I know that the one in the Hijab is a mulsim and the other is not and I can talk to her about her faith".

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't BA employ her to run a check-in desk, not do Terry Wogan's "Thought for the Day"? Perhaps she needs to rethink why she goes to work. If she wants to spend her working day talking about God, the Church of England now ordains women and maybe that would be a better outlet for her beliefs. BA is in the business of selling tickets and transporting passengers - not preaching superstition (for the record, I regard ALL religion as superstition and am not singling out any particular faith).

Also Mrs/Ms Eweida should be aware that just because a woman does not wear a Hijab this does NOT make her a non-muslim. I know muslims who do not wear Hijabs, veils or Burkhas (or the male equivalents) - but they are no less muslim for that. As an Egyptian, I would have though she'd be aware of that.

Does wearing a cross UNDER a cravat make Mrs/Ms Eweida less of a Christian than if it is worn on top? I would say NO, and if she feels that it does then maybe there is some weakness in her faith in that it relies upon conspicuous symbology for its strength. Surely TRUE faith in an internal, personal, spiritual matter that does not rely upon symbology?

Sikhs find no need to openly display their dagger and comb - are they any less Sikh for that?

Whilst not an atheist, I do feel that religion has no place in the work environment. I would be happier if there were no religion anywhere, given the way that religion divides, rather than unites, people (disband the whole lot of them, I say) but that isn't going to happen.

I get fed up with people saying "but this is a Christian country" - it is not, it is essentially a secular country and the vast majority of our law reflects that, apart from our outdated blasphemy laws.

It's hard to hide a turban, but if it's colour co-ordinated then it works with a uniform, and the same applies to a Hijab. However, they are clothing and that is one thing - jewellery is a different story and a cross IS jewellery, regardless of what Christians say. From the Oxford English dictionary:

jewellery UK, US jewelry
noun personal ornaments, such as necklaces, rings, or bracelets, that are made from or contain jewels and precious metal.

"personal ornament" - that fits the bill.


Good for BA,. I say - stick to your guns on this one.

XXTSGR
21st Nov 2006, 11:43
I can't really get excited by either side here.

On the one hand, I see nothing wrong with people wearing articles that proclaim their faith. I can't get offended by them at all.

I can, however, get offended by people wanting to tell me that their faith is the only true faith and thus proselytising, which is what, it appears to me, she wants to do.

She has to a certain extent shot herself in the foot with that statement, also by accepting BA's T's & C's. If BA were to allow a small, plain cross then they will have to allow someone else to wear a Star of David, another to wear a Pentangle, blah blah blah etc. etc. etc., and one wonders where it would all end. It is impossible to legislate within the T's & C's for what is acceptable and what is not.

All in all, I think I fall on BA's side here. As has been said, it is not a requirement of her religion that she wear it visibly, and God knows the truth of what she believes and how she acts. I don't think it's part of her job, while taking money off BA for doing it, that she uses that time to preach her personal message of salvation. If she wants to save souls, then she can do it in her own time. But she's taken BA's shilling, and needs to do as she's told in the company's time.

There are all sorts of other questions that don't arise here and so don't need to be addressed such as the Sikhs' kirpans, Muslim women's attire, Hassidic Jews' hair etc....

If she wants to wear a huge cross outside work, I wouldn't be offended by it in the least.

Meccano
21st Nov 2006, 12:29
I can't really get excited by either side here.

On the one hand, I see nothing wrong with people wearing articles that proclaim their faith. I can't get offended by them at all.

I can, however, get offended by people wanting to tell me that their faith is the only true faith and thus proselytising, which is what, it appears to me, she wants to do.

She has to a certain extent shot herself in the foot with that statement, also by accepting BA's T's & C's. If BA were to allow a small, plain cross then they will have to allow someone else to wear a Star of David, another to wear a Pentangle, blah blah blah etc. etc. etc., and one wonders where it would all end. It is impossible to legislate within the T's & C's for what is acceptable and what is not.

All in all, I think I fall on BA's side here. As has been said, it is not a requirement of her religion that she wear it visibly, and God knows the truth of what she believes and how she acts. I don't think it's part of her job, while taking money off BA for doing it, that she uses that time to preach her personal message of salvation. If she wants to save souls, then she can do it in her own time. But she's taken BA's shilling, and needs to do as she's told in the company's time.

There are all sorts of other questions that don't arise here and so don't need to be addressed such as the Sikhs' kirpans, Muslim women's attire, Hassidic Jews' hair etc....

If she wants to wear a huge cross outside work, I wouldn't be offended by it in the least.
XXTSGR - you are tying yourself in knots attempting to steer a path which permits your Muslimah sisters to wear a hijab to work at BA while simultaneously barring Christians from wearing a cross.

Whatever that woman said is totally aside from the point. I haven't read her remarks, and they are not material to the issue.
This is not a debate about prosyletising, so don't try to twist it into one.

What is material is the question of whether people working in uniform are permitted to wear articles which proclaim their faith.

As an ardent espouser of Islam on these pages you have repeatedly defended the right of muslims to behave as their religion dictates, no matter how outlandish or unreasonable that behaviour might seem to the rest of society.

In the debate about Jack Straws comments on veil wearing you wrote the following:...."You are correct that the hijab (or the niqb) are not religious requirements"...and later...."it is the woman's choice to wear the veil".

It therefore seems baldly hypocritical of you to infer that Muslimah's should be allowed to choose to wear the Hijab in whatever circumstances they choose - including while working in uniform - while Christians are forbidden any religious adornment (voluntary or not).


Whatever you think of this woman or her beliefs - XXTSGR's comments highlight the hypocrisy and chauvinism rooted deep in the Muslim mindset, which demands special rights for Muslims while simultaneously acknowledging the innapropriateness of their own, and others, religious symbols in very many contexts.

Whether you can or can't get excited is not the point XXTSGR - equity and balance is the point.

El Grifo
21st Nov 2006, 12:43
BA is now alledgedly saying that it is nothing to do with the fact that the woman is actually wearing a cross or a religious symbol, it is simply that she is infringing dress code by wearing a piece of jewellery.

The snake like sound of bellies sliding and slithering across the floor could not be avoided.

In my opinion they have started at the wrong end of the scale.

In my opinion they have went for the soft target.

I think they are scared.

It is highly unlikley that christians will be gathering around BA head office this weekend with banners and calls for the death of anyone.

This is exactly the kind of thing that gives the BNP fuel for their fire and a bigger share of the vote.

It is tangible evidence that the corner has well and truly been turned.

If BA seriously wants a standardised dress code, then start at the other end of the scale.
Dump the spooky religous/ethnic garb that is symbolic of some of the scarier things that are going on in the world today (especially on airlines) and then work your way down to the small items of religious jewellery that really only offend the wearers of the spooky religious/ethnic garb in the first place.

I am sick of this crap. I am glad I got out when I did.

The United Kingdom is being led to the dogs.:*

ORAC
21st Nov 2006, 12:44
Maybe she could have a crucifix embroidered on a veil...

No, cant see anything wrong with the decision. She might feel hurt, but BA have their terms and conditions, and she knew them. Asking her to obey them in no way infringes on her legal, racial or religious rights.

If she thinks their T & Cs are frivolous and unnecessary she might have a point. But she is taking the wrong tack if that were the case.

AcroChik
21st Nov 2006, 12:46
"...specifying a plain cross of a specific size."

Wrong!

Which legislative, executive, administrative or judicial body would you trust with the prescription of religious faith? How would you even decide who to appoint to such a panel? And then who would you hire to ensure compliance? A team similar to airport security drones, no doubt! Or perhaps the wandering clerics who scour the streets of Saudi Arabia beating non-conformists?

The woman and her legal counsel chose the wrong argument and made it poorly. When trying to effect change, one needs to pick the battle and then mount the right strategy. She did neither. Tactically, she shot herself in the foot by shooting off her mouth. She deserved to lose.

The shocking ineptitude of how she conducted herself makes me think she actually obtained the outcome she most deeply wished for, to proclaim her victimhood. Some people call it being a martyr to their religion.

Airbus38
21st Nov 2006, 12:50
I refer to my earlier point - while I personally feel she (or any other followers of any faith) should not wear these items overtly while uniformed, particularly if these items are not a requirement of the faith, I think BA have been massively hypocritical. Again, christianity is a way of life, I have no problem acepting that. Also, homosexuality is a way of life - but come on, how many of you would let gay employees wear a badge so that people at the check-in desk can discuss the pros and cons of homosexuality?

Where BA have shot themselves in the foot is that it has taken 7 YEARS before they have mentioned this to her. In my book, thats a bloody long time. Why do they only pick up on it now? Well, I think we all know the answer to that question. I just think that prior to this issue being highlighted, nobody really got that offended by it.

Her argument is weak mind you. Just imagine the cabin crew in shorts and T-shirt because it doesn't hinder what they are doing, it in fact makes it easier! Agree with all the points made regarding whether it's a uniform. It clearly is, and it's there for a reason. If she doesn't like it, she knows where the door is. I just think if that's their policy, it should have been stuck to from day 1, rather than wait for years to enforce it. You can see why she got a bit miffed.

Skeleton
21st Nov 2006, 13:07
Bang

Bang

Bang

Yet more nails in the coffin of society.

BA would have done the right thing IF and it is a big IF, they had applied the rule across all faiths and nationalitys.

One uniform and one dress code for all.

Nope they were to weak kneed to do that.

When in Rome etc..... like we have to.

Last one out of BRITAIN please turn out the light!

XXTSGR
21st Nov 2006, 13:08
Meccano, the word for a follower of Islam is "Muslim". I suspect that you are trying to be offensive by the term you use. Please refrain.

Yes, I defend the right of Muslims to follow the dictates of their faith. Do you have any problem with them doing so? I don't have any personal problem, as I have said, with this woman wearing the cross. However, BA's rules dictate otherwise. Furthermore, wearing it visibly is not part of the requirements of Christianity. I have no idea what BA dictates with regard to Muslim check-in agents, and they are not the subject of this discussion.

As regards proselytising, it is the woman herself who brought it up, so don't blame me about that. If you want to take part in the discussion, I suggest you read up on what has been said.

Furthermore, I have not said that I demand any specific rights for Muslims. What I demand for Muslims is the same as I demand for the followers of any religion - the right to practice it, and to follow its dictates. Do you have any problem with that?

AcroChik, I have nowhere and at no time said that the nation in which I live is an entirely artificial construct. Furthermore, I think we are all capable here of working out the difference between culture and religion, whatever you may have argued elsewhere. If we have to define everyday words here whose meaning everyone understands, I think reading this board would get a bit tedious. I don't see Tweedledum or Tweedledee here, so most good dictionaries should suffice.

As to my views, I choose my position depending upon the circumstances of the case, not on black-and-white definitions, unchanging hard positions or political ideologies. If you want to argue that retaining the right to make my own mind up on any given issue makes me unreliable then that, I'm afraid, is your problem rather than mine. As to the "intellectually" bit of that particular nasty little dig, I'll bet my academic qualifications against yours any day. You show me your degrees, I'll show you mine.

Airbus38 - excellent posts. I agree with everything you've written.

radeng
21st Nov 2006, 13:19
Are wedding rings, engagement rings, and earrings not jewellry? If not the case (i.e. they are), why aren't they banned?

ORAC
21st Nov 2006, 13:29
IIRC the uniform standard forbids external adornment of any kind. So yes, rings, necklaces etc would not be allowed. Which brings us back to how strictly the rules were enforced.

It is, of course, a fact that discretion is sometimes observed at the bending of rules in workplaces. It´s when someone kicks up a fuss about it the boot comes down.

One wonders at the circumstances that lead up to the matter being raised with the management in the first place.....

Skeleton
21st Nov 2006, 14:10
Yes, I defend the right of Muslims to follow the dictates of their faith. Do you have any problem with them doing so? I don't have any personal problem, as I have said, with this woman wearing the cross. However, BA's rules dictate otherwise. Furthermore, wearing it visibly is not part of the requirements of Christianity. I have no idea what BA dictates with regard to Muslim check-in agents, and they are not the subject of this discussion.

Furthermore, I have not said that I demand any specific rights for Muslims. What I demand for Muslims is the same as I demand for the followers of any religion - the right to practice it, and to follow its dictates. Do you have any problem with that?



XXTSGR

1. I take it as read that you therefore have no issue with Christians defending the dictates of there faith.

2 Glad to hear that you do not have a problem with her wearing a cross. But would that be your position had BA gone the other way and banned veils, but allowed crosses?

3. There are many people of the Christian faith who are required to wear a visible cross. Your blanket statement that there is no requirement in my faith for a cross to be visible is wrong.

4. Its very convenient that you have dismissed any debate about BA and there dress code regulations for Muslims. Clearly a large percentage of the UK population follows the Christian faith. Why should they not be allowed to question the dress code rules of a British airline for other religions, following a draconian ruling such as this.

As for your last paragraph, I am speechless. By all means follow your own ideals and dictates, and rightly so. It is also an important part of Muslim culture that people of other faiths acknowledge and respect it when visiting abroad. Again rightly so. I think its you Sir that needs to look outward as well as inward - We have to.

Bottom line is when in Rome etc. But there appears to be only one side playing that.

radeng
21st Nov 2006, 14:10
I reckon they'd have a hard time banning wedding rings.............

radeng
21st Nov 2006, 14:13
So then you have a question as to what is defined as jewellry. The mess gets worse...

XXTSGR
21st Nov 2006, 14:17
AFAIK most airlines permit wedding and engagement rings and small stud earrings only.

Sleleton:-
1) No problem at all.
2) Hypothetical question, hardly likely.
3) Sorry - Bishops, the Pope, Cardinals, some monks, nuns, etc. wear crosses. However, I don't think many of them are working as BA check-in agents - unless you can advise me differently?
4) I haven't dismissed any debate about this. I don't think it is any part of this issue anyway, and even if it was, I have no idea what BA's regulations on it are anyway.
5) I have no idea at all what you're talking about here.

Meccano
21st Nov 2006, 14:33
Meccano, the word for a follower of Islam is "Muslim". I suspect that you are trying to be offensive by the term you use. Please refrain.
According to the online Islamic Dictionary (http://muttaqun.com/dictionary3.html) the word Muslimah is the plural for female Muslims. I was referring to female Muslims, therefore I used the recognised plural term for female Muslims. It is the term I see commonly used by Muslims. Your desire to take offence is just another example of that common trait of over-sensitive muslims, using imagined offence as an excuse to distract from their hypocrisy.

Yes, I defend the right of Muslims to follow the dictates of their faith. Do you have any problem with them doing so?
In the proper arena no, in public in a secular land, yes definitely.

I don't have any personal problem, as I have said, with this woman wearing the cross. However, BA's rules dictate otherwise.
BA's rules appear to be vague and undergoing reinterpretation on an hourly basis.They also appear to be manifestly hypocritical and contradictory.

Furthermore, wearing it visibly is not part of the requirements of Christianity. Nor is wearing the hijab - you yourself have stated that.

I have no idea what BA dictates with regard to Muslim check-in agents, and they are not the subject of this discussion.Well they most certainly are! Because wearing anyrthing which is not part of the basic BA uniform appears to be forbidden - except in the case of certain privilieged minorities.

As regards proselytising, it is the woman herself who brought it up, so don't blame me about that. If you want to take part in the discussion, I suggest you read up on what has been said.No interest in proselytising, and no interest in her comments. Proselytising at work is innapropriate - for ALL. Stick to the subject.

Furthermore, I have not said that I demand any specific rights for Muslims. What I demand for Muslims is the same as I demand for the followers of any religion - the right to practice it, and to follow its dictates. Do you have any problem with that?They have the right to practice it in the proper arena. Wearing the hijab is not part of practicing it. And even if it was then they should choose a job where wearing it does not infringe company rules, or bring the company into disrepute as a result of hypocritical double standards having to be applied.

As to my views, I choose my position depending upon the circumstances of the case, not on black-and-white definitions, unchanging hard positions or political ideologies.Ahh...the shifting sands of hypocrisy.
If you want to argue that retaining the right to make my own mind up on any given issue makes me unreliable then that, I'm afraid, is your problem rather than mine.No, on the contrary it is your problem, because it tends to betray you as a hypocrite with specious arguments and double standards.

As to the others here who refer to this womans comments - leave her and her comments out of the debate, let's deal with the nub of the issue.
The Big Picture.
If I choose to wear a cross to work in BA why can't I - when other religions are allowed their symbols? The simple and obvious solution is to apply the rules equitably across the board and ban all non-uniform accoutrements, for all.
But I feel sorry for BA that they are forced to compromise in such basic issues through fear of the backlash from so-called peace loving 'ordinary' muslims.

Skeleton - this has nothing to do with faith. It is about uniform rules and their equitable application, without exception, thats all. Leave the religious nuttery to the religious nuts.

XXTSGR
21st Nov 2006, 15:32
You really don't get it, do you Meccano?

Wearing the hijab is a cultural interpretation of a religious requirement. In my view it is not a religious requirement. In the view of other Muslims, it is. Similarly, some Catholics don't eat meat on Friday. They consider it a religious requirement. Others don't consider it as such at all.

What we are debating here is a specific case concerning a BA Check-in agent. If you want to widen the debate, then that is another matter, but you cannot simply dismiss the woman's views on the matter.

I'm not defending BA's rules here - I simply reiterate what they have been announced to be, and pointing out (as others have done) that this woman signed up to them, and agreed to be bound by them.

I'm not sure where you think these double standards exist. If you maintain that BA applies double standards, then can you quote their rules and give us examples of how they are being applied, disregarded or twisted? I have no idea whatsoever what the rules are as they affect Muslims, and have made no comment on that aspect. All comments so far seem to have come from you, with no examples, no justification, and no specifics.

You seem very keen on throwing the accusation of hypocrisy around at anyone with whom you disagree. Others appear to see less than you.

There is nothing to stop anyone who works for BA wearing a cross. Do you actually want to, given your comments about "religious nuts"? I don't think BA exactly covered themselves in glory the way they handled this case, but their rules do appear to be clear.

As regards Muslims practising their faith, do you consider, for example, that they are not permitted to take five minutes out for the regular prayers? It seems to me that it is exactly your brand of secularism that is stopping any display of anything remotely religious, that renames "Advent calendars" as "Winter calendars", that demands the renaming of Christmas trees, that says the only place anyone with any faith is permitted to follow that faith is at home with nobody watching.

James 1077
21st Nov 2006, 15:56
I do believe that BA are completely wrong with their approach here; regardless of whether it is in their terms and conditions of employment.

My reason for this is that their treatment is inequitable and thus unfair. Either allow religious symbols provided that they fit various criteria (for example blue / black head scarf, silver cross of x inches maximum, upside down cross of similar size, silver ball of pasta for the pastafarians amongst us) or ban all religious symbols on the grounds of secularism and uniformity.

What you shouldn't be doing is allowing some people to wear them and others not to (especially when they none of them are dictats of the religion; but simple cultural practice or belief).

What I think should happen is that everybody who works for BA and agrees with freedom of religion (no matter what their religion or non-religion) should simply wear a nice big 3 foot "symbol" to work on one day; something that "displays your faith but is impractical to hide under your uniform".

Mine would definitely be a big ball of pasta and meatballs as, to be honest, the pastafarian religion (http://www.venganza.org/) appears be becoming the more sensible of the bunch!

Meccano
21st Nov 2006, 20:11
You really don't get it, do you Meccano?
Oh I 'get it' alright XXTSGR, the whole world is getting it by now!

Wearing the hijab is a cultural interpretation of a religious requirement. In my view it is not a religious requirement. In the view of other Muslims, it is. Similarly, some Catholics don't eat meat on Friday. They consider it a religious requirement. Others don't consider it as such at all.
Exactly! The hijab is an unnecessary acoutrement that has no defined imperative in the Islamic religion and therefore is dispensible in public and in work. So whats all the fuss about dropping it?
It has in fact become a symbol of Islamic defiance, cultural 'superiority' and rejection of 'Western rules'. All of which are offensive statements to most non-Muslims.
It is also, in this case, a visible infringement of BA's own uniform regulations, which they have chosen to apply selectively.

And for your info, the Catholic Church removed any restrictions on their followers diet decades ago, so only a fanatic would insist on following rules which don't apply - don't you agree?
I note also that BA do not have restrictions on employees diet.
You obviously enjoy the odd red-herring yourself.

What we are debating here is a specific case concerning a BA Check-in agent. If you want to widen the debate, then that is another matter, but you cannot simply dismiss the woman's views on the matter.
Now don't be coy XXTSGR. It is INDEED a much bigger issue than just BA's uniform policies. This specific case merely serves as yet another example of a deeply ingrained cultural malaise.

I'm not defending BA's rules here - I simply reiterate what they have been announced to be, and pointing out (as others have done) that this woman signed up to them, and agreed to be bound by them.
Yes, thats why you are so keen to stick to the superficial minutiae of a specific dispute rather than dealing with the greater hypocrisy that it exposes.

I'm not sure where you think these double standards exist. If you maintain that BA applies double standards, then can you quote their rules and give us examples of how they are being applied, disregarded or twisted? I have no idea whatsoever what the rules are as they affect Muslims, and have made no comment on that aspect. All comments so far seem to have come from you, with no examples, no justification, and no specifics.
Come now XXTSGR, don't feign ignorance. Its just another old and tired weapon in the armoury of hypocrisy. I see them every day, walking around wearing their hijabs, and you know it well.
But if you insist on a clear statement from BA, I offer this quote from a BA spokesperson, published in one of your own faiths website:
http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2006-10/16/05.shtml
" BA's uniform policy allows staff to wear religious symbols only if they are concealed underneath the uniform. It allows items such as Hindu turbans and bangles as well as hijab as it is not practical for staff to conceal them beneath their uniform."

So you see, BA makes an exception for the hijab (even though it is not a religious imperative - unlike the Sikh turban).

You seem very keen on throwing the accusation of hypocrisy around at anyone with whom you disagree. Others appear to see less than you.
I throw that accusation at you alone on this website. I do so, not because we disagree, but because your position is hypocritical. If the hat fits, wear it.

There is nothing to stop anyone who works for BA wearing a cross.
Under the uniform, right? But not openly - like a hijab.

Do you actually want to, given your comments about "religious nuts"?
I might choose to wear a cross in future - just to make a point. The point (by the way) is nothing to do with religion, but with equity and equality.

I don't think BA exactly covered themselves in glory the way they handled this case, but their rules do appear to be clear.
Are they? Pleaee explain them then, because I want to understand why they are not being equally applied.

As regards Muslims practising their faith, do you consider, for example, that they are not permitted to take five minutes out for the regular prayers?
I would say thats rather like smoking breaks. I don't know BA's policy on smoking breaks, but if they allow smokers to dissapear on regular smoking breaks then I don't see a problem. If they forbid smokers a break - I guess that sets a standard which must be equally applied. Are you gettingn this yet?

It seems to me that it is exactly your brand of secularism that is stopping any display of anything remotely religious, that renames "Advent calendars" as "Winter calendars", that demands the renaming of Christmas trees, that says the only place anyone with any faith is permitted to follow that faith is at home with nobody watching.
Christmas is a secularised holiday in most western countries now. It is an annual orgy of commercialism, not a religious feast. I don't find Christmas trees or choir singing offensive, because Christmas is neutered of all religious significance by now.

By the way XXTSGR, I take it your silence is some form of acknowledgement of your error in accusing me of intentionally causing offence by use of the term Muslimah? A simple apology and a retraction by you would be appreciated.

moggiee
22nd Nov 2006, 15:20
BA is now alledgedly saying that it is nothing to do with the fact that the woman is actually wearing a cross or a religious symbol, it is simply that she is infringing dress code by wearing a piece of jewellery.

They are not saying that NOW, they have been saying that ALL ALONG.

It's the lazy, semi-informed media and Mrs/Ms Eweida who have said that BA banned her from wearing a cross. They did not - they told her not to wear a visible necklace because it contravened their policy on jewellery.

The whole "cross banning" stance is mis-information, put about by people with an axe to grind.

The terms and conditions she signed up for said "no jewellery" and that is what BA are enforcing.

When I joined the RAF over 20 years ago I agreed to abide by their dress code and as that said "no beard" then no beard it was. If I'd joined the Navy it would have said "beard or clean shaven - no moustache". Fine, those are the conditions. In the other jobs that I have done since leaving the RAF there has always been a dress code and, as someone who signed up to the company T & Cs then I have agreed to abide by that.

The bottom line is that as well as knowing your rights under your contract, you have to know your responsibilities - and if one of those is adhering to a dress code then that is what you must do, or you are in breach of contract.

By the way, all those of you in favour of allowing her to wear the cross, you still haven't answered my question:

"Would it be acceptable for a BA check-in desk worker to wear an inverted cross or ram's head necklace on top of their uniform at work if he/she was a Satanist?"

moggiee
22nd Nov 2006, 15:32
Although having seen her on the news yesterday, she is as mad as a box of frogs.
Of course she is, she believes in God!

gcolyer
22nd Nov 2006, 15:44
"Would it be acceptable for a BA check-in desk worker to wear an inverted cross or ram's head necklace on top of their uniform at work if he/she was a Satanist?"


I don't see why not, if that is what they believe in and follow, and there is no law against following it.

However if company policy forbids it in one way or another then no.

beamer
22nd Nov 2006, 21:59
So you cannot wear a small crucifix in a supposedly Christian country - what a load of PC balls !

El Grifo
22nd Nov 2006, 22:11
No Beamer. The point is that you cannot wear a small crucifix ouside of your uniform in a supposedly christian country in the same way as you cannot wear a gold chain in a similar fashion.

It is a predescribed BA uniform stipulation.

I think this fact has been highlighted on several occasions throughout this thread.

A2QFI
22nd Nov 2006, 22:20
It was pointed out in the letters column of the DT that BA's own logo (The Union Flag) is composed of the crosses of Saints George, Andrew and Patrick and that this 'logo' is all over the tails of the aircraft. Perhaps the tails should be covered during working hours?

Taildragger67
22nd Nov 2006, 22:24
My reason for this is that their treatment is inequitable and thus unfair. Either allow religious symbols provided that they fit various criteria (for example blue / black head scarf, silver cross of x inches maximum, upside down cross of similar size, silver ball of pasta for the pastafarians amongst us) or ban all religious symbols on the grounds of secularism and uniformity.

What you shouldn't be doing is allowing some people to wear them and others not to (especially when they none of them are dictats of the religion; but simple cultural practice or belief).


I think she shot herself in the foot a tad by stating that she was wearing the cross so that those whom she confronted would know that Jesus loves them, or words to that effect. So it was not a 'personal' thing per se (in that she was wearing a symbol purely for what she felt to be a way to interpret her religion) but rather an overt communication to others.

I do not think that veil-clad Muslim check-in ladies necessarily wear their veils so that the passengers they check in will know that Allah loves them; nor that Sikh check-in agents wear their turbans so that their passengers will know that the Sikh supreme being (yes I admit to ignorance) loves them.

Hence, she is wearing her cross, to make an outward statement, not of her own faith, but to communicate a message. Essentially, a proselytizing message. If she wishes to do that, there are plenty of avenues available to her, but unfortunately none of them give staff travel benefits or a generous final salary pension.

The parallel between veil and turban, and a Christian symbol is that if there was some Christian piece of kit, which was simply a symbol of one's own beliefs (without trying to push any message onto others, as she admits hers is doing), then BA would have to allow is or ban the lot.

As it stands, we Christians (at least the UK regiments) don't have any symbols which are regularly and traditionally worn by lay followers, which cannot be reduced to small size and covered by a uniform. And frankly I don't need to rely on some external symbol to remind either myself or anyone else, what I am.

Arguably, she is using her public-contact position as a soap box to try to convert non-Christians into Christians; she has said as much with her 'my cross on display is making sure you know that Jesus loves you' stuff. Frankly, she's not being paid to do that and aside from any actual uniform issues, she's breaking her contract by pushing her views on the Company's customers. Were a muslim or Sikh check-in agent to try and convert me - by word, behaviour or symbol - in between allocating my seat and tagging my bag, I'd hope, and be reasonably confident, that they got at least as much stick from their employer as this person.

I am a Christian, I am confident in my relationship with the Almighty, and I don't appreciate having it rammed down my throat at check-in.

G-CPTN
22nd Nov 2006, 22:33
Apparently, Salvation Army Officers are not permitted to wear jewellery (OR crucifixes) visibly when in uniform (ie crucifixes, if worn, must be UNDER the uniform and not on display).
Mind you, you'd never mistake anyone in Salvation Army uniform for any other faith follower (and I believe the dedicated ones wear uniform whenever possible - or they DID when I was a lad).

R4+Z
23rd Nov 2006, 00:11
Is this issue really about the wearing of a crucifix or is it really about the only way equality can be addressed? If someone had taken offence to seikh or muslim religious garb then they would be accused of racism, bigotry and all other manner of things. However by raising the issue of equality we now have to debate both sides of the issue evenly, even though some don't want to see the issue that broadly.

I find it amusing to hear the other sides using the arguments thier opponents used years ago to justify the same stance. If you get my drift.

Al Fakhem
23rd Nov 2006, 03:33
No Beamer. The point is that you cannot wear a small crucifix ouside of your uniform in a supposedly christian country in the same way as you cannot wear a gold chain in a similar fashion.

It is a predescribed BA uniform stipulation.

I think this fact has been highlighted on several occasions throughout this thread.

The point is, in fact, that other jewellery (such as bangles worn by Sikhs) are allowed to be worn visibly. That is discrimination - simple and clear.:(

eal401
23rd Nov 2006, 05:54
"Would it be acceptable for a BA check-in desk worker to wear an inverted cross or ram's head necklace on top of their uniform at work if he/she was a Satanist?"

If it is a subtle as the crucifix in question, then yes, why not?

I still say ALL religious articles should be banned, however, don't relish the thought of BA's Muslim workers protesting. "Death to the infidels" won't look good outside of Heathrow.

BlueDiamond
23rd Nov 2006, 06:10
I think some folk might have got the wrong end of the stick. As I understand it, the woman is not being prevented from wearing her jewellery, she is only being told not to wear it outside her uniform and this is a requirement for everyone. So ... what really is the fuss about? I get the impression people are deliberately misrepresenting the situation in order to promote antagonism. There isn't any issue about the cross, the issue is that an employee is contravening policy and trying to play the religious discrimination card to sidetrack the issue. It's working too.

A2QFI
23rd Nov 2006, 08:17
Pictures I have seen of this lady showed that the is wearing her crucifix on a short wire necklet and next to her skin, high on her throat. It is NOT outside her uniform but it is visible because she wears it high on her neck and it shows above the neck line of her upper clothing. I would have thought BA had better things to worry about than a small cross on display in a Christian country. If she is in breach of the 'rules' then I suggest the rules need looking at. I do agree that her stated reasons for wearing it are a bit "in your face" but the item itself doesn't warrant a second look - it is small, discreet and not bright or glittery - looks like dull silver or pewter.

El Grifo
23rd Nov 2006, 08:35
This thread is rapidly becoming a circular argument with the same points being made and remade.

The major issue appears to be BA's tolerance of certain religious/culture/ethnic garb or adornments and its non-toleration of others.

Sadly BA APPEAR to have chosen the softest of targets to pick on.
This target being the one that would probably be associated with the longest held and most conservative belief system in the land.

That alone has caused controversy.

In light of the current debate of the relevancy and increase of muslim women wearing the veil in public places, this situation has simply added fuel to the fire.

To the general public it simply appears that there are one set of rules for "them" and different set of rule for "us"

Very little that is happening in the UK today does anything to counter that belief.

PPRuNe Towers
23rd Nov 2006, 09:07
Hampstered in three pages.

Rob