British Airways Uniform: Hijab Yes, Crucifix No

A quote from The Daily Telegraph, 14 October 2006

[British Airways] Heathrow check-in worker Nadia Eweida claims she was effectively “forced” to take unpaid leave after refusing to remove the Christian symbol, which is about the size of a five pence piece. […] Miss Eweida, from Twickenham, West London, said she wears the cross because of her deeply-held religious beliefs. She said: “I belong to Jesus – one body, one spirit, one baptism.” Miss Eweida is from an Egyptian background and attends Pentecostal as well as Arabic churches. [...]

A BA spokeswoman emphasised today that  “[…] Our uniform policy states that these items can be worn, underneath the uniform. There is no ban. This rule applies for all jewellery and religious symbols on chains and is not specific to the Christian cross. Other items such as turbans, hijabs and bangles can be worn as it is not practical for staff to conceal them beneath their uniforms.”

Although BA has a point in

Although BA has a point in it's policy, I believe they are wrong in suspending Ms Eweida. This is obviously an example of reverse discrimination. They hide behind the cover of discriminating against Christians to protect their image as a non-discriminating entity. Since widespread Muslim discrimination is becoming more and more blatant, BA is trying to hide this fact by discriminating against Christians to "even" things out. Pathetic.

Religious symbology

If religious symbology is the problem then turbans, hijabs and bangles should not be allowed either.  Practicality should not even be a consideration.


BA is applying a whopping double standard here.  The amazing thing is that they don't seem to be able to recognize it.



RE: Religious symbology

It's safe for Al-BA to apply double standards against Christians. What can they loose ? A few thousands £ in court. If they banned hijabs they can face the rage from the Muslim comunity. For this reason it's more safe/lucrative for Al-BA to appease the Muslims.

Another nasty example:
School bans Christian chastity ring but allows Muslim and Sikh symbols.

I side with the employer

I side with the employer despite the dhimmi appearance of the situation.  As long as the employee is representing the company the company has the right to determine clothing and to a reasonable extend appearance of the employee.  If if were me I would have fired the Sihks and the muslims wanting to wear their stupid crap also.  Sue me.

H M Prison

the company has the right to determine clothing and to a reasonable extend appearance of the employee

In my country H. M. Prison Service is part of The Crown. The Crown is represented by The Monarchy - Motto Dieu et mon Droit

Letter in Daily Telegraph 16 Oct 2006

Sir – Regarding Miss Nadia Eweida and the attempts by British Airways to stop her wearing her crucifix at work, the legal position is very clear. If female Muslim staff in BA are allowed to wear the hijab, then it is unlawful discrimination for BA to prevent Christian staff from wearing a cross. (Reg 3 Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003).

In law, the hijab is a religious symbol just as much as the cross, therefore if Muslim staff are permitted to wear a Muslim religious symbol then Christian staff must also be allowed to wear the Christian religious symbol of the cross.

Because of the international nature of its work I, as a barrister, believe that BA could justifiably prohibit all its staff from wearing any religious symbol. What it cannot do is impose different, and therefore discriminatory, rules on Muslim and Christian staff members.

Neil Addison (Author, Religious Discrimination and Hatred Law ), Liverpool

Voyager, I would personally

Voyager, I would personally never take a job with a dress code but if you do you dress according to the code in your employment contract. Kuwaiti airlines, I believe, has all stewerdesses wear a hajib when servicing the middle east. If you don't want to wear a hajib don't work for Kuwaiti airlines. I know that probably breaks a zillion employment laws in the US but screw them. You sign a contract when you take the job.


Many years ago an HR Director in Germany told me it was pointless signing an employment contract since everything was laid down in detail in Labour Law.

In England the employer can change the terms of an Employment Contract unilaterally under "Master & Servant" Clauses. The employee is deemed to be in full agreement unless he/she resigns to express refusal


I have heard suggestions that even pre-nuptial agreements there in the UK are superceded by the Queens law. Government overreach. As long as the employer offers safe and healthy working conditions everything else should be between the worker and employee. Can't really think of anywhere in the west that operates like that actually but I think thats the way it should be.

Not Quite

superceded by the Queens law.

That cannot be so since there has been NO Divorce Law passed in The United Kingdom since 1973.

Under English Law Judges make law through precedent and it is Judges who can set aside pre-nuptial agreements and Judges who have unfettered discretion to make new law - they have done so in divorce law making things riskier in England that in the USA

When you speak of English Law you cannot think only of legislation but must consider Judges under Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence

I would side with the employer -

if it did as you suggest, and banned everything, particularly as the banned item relates to the state religion here, and the other items mentioned ... don't. Sue me too!

Human rights

oiznop, you are so right about the human rights act, however I would say that it does not apply to anyone who is WHITE, CHRISTIAN, HETROSEXUAL OR TAX PAYING, maybe the act should be renamed as the Exclusionary discriminatory rights act. This act is without doubt the worst piece of legislation that this country has ever accepted.

Prison Uniform Codes?

I once read that employees of the British correctional system are no longer allowed to wear the small England pin (St. George's Cross) while on duty, for it has alarmed Muslim inmates who regard the red cross on white as a symbol of the Crusades; they feel intimidated by it and it offends their ancestors. Does anyone else know about this?


Prison Uniforms

That was Ann Owers the Prisons Inspector being a bit PC.


Owers 2

Owers 3

I have every expectation that the Prison Officers will have ignored her - it is a very hard union the POA and she has no power. With the lack of new prisons, if they play hardball the government will need the Army to hold things together

Owers 4

the government's selection of Anne Owers CBE to succeed Sir David Ramsbotham as HM Chief Inspector of Prisons surprised many.Not even the veteran human rights campaigner thought her application would make it past the home office ministers she has so persistently needled since Labour came to office.


The airline rep. stated that [Muslim] religious articles are permissible to be worn outside the uniform, since "it is not practical for staff to conceal them [larger religious symbols] beneath their uniforms.”

All Nadia needs to do is find herself a crucifix the size of a watermelon, attach it to a dog chain, and wear it very proudly -- on the outside of her uniform.

Why would BA be so idiotic?

If it is so certain that BA will lose in court, why do they have the policy? what I mean is, is it simply that  thoughtless bureaucrat-types in that part of management are in fact prejudiced against Christians or for some other reason?  Here in the U.S., e.g., if you accommodate the reasonable needs of one religion you accommodate the reasonable needs of the others, too, and business knows this, business at the scale of BA, at least. This, and the boy with two many snacks, all in 24 hours--unbelievable. 

The BA "Uniform policy" is a farce.

The Daily Telegraph article quotes the following gem:

"Other items such as turbans, hijabs and bangles can be worn as it is not practical for staff to conceal them beneath their uniforms.”

Ms Eweida's remedy is simplicity itself. She needs to treat herself to a thirty-inch crucifix. Or perhaps a burqa with crosses printed on it.

British Intifada

One could be hardly surprised that this sort of pandering to Muslims yields more and more cheek attacks on our society:

"Two fire engines are being sent to tackle blazes in in areas of Keighley. One crew is there to deal with the incident and the other to defend the firefighters from attack."

'Good' reading.

Keighley is a part of Bradfordistan - formerly called Bradford.

Do the same rules apply???

We can only hope, Voyager, but I am not so sure...It seems that these "touchee feelee" human rights acts implimented by the UN, EU et. al., don't apply to anything christian...Mainly due to the fact that these secular progressives within these organizations seem to want to thwart anything resembling christianity, and bend over backwards for these Islamoids......and whose to say that BMI or Luftansa don't have similar stupid rules a la British Air????.....

Let us note that her Trades

Let us note that her Trades Union the TGWU is backing her and has employed a Barrister on her behalf to take the case to an Industrial Tribunal. This is a breach of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights, the UN Charter, and the European Charter of the EU.

BA will get it with both barrels. The Act coming into force in April 2007 would have made it even more expensive for BA - the Religious Discrimination Act.

This can even go to the ECHR - and the publicity is devastating for BA and its CEO Willie Walsh who is an Irishman. Obviously BA will suffer very negative publicity and rightly so.

It would be good if Govt Ministers boycotted BA and flew BMI or Lufthansa