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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘hijab’

Air France Female Crew Fights Mandatory Shari’a Dress Code in Tehran

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Female flight attendants on Air France are fighting an internal management edict mandating a Shari’a-compliant (Islamic) dress code on routes to and from Iran.

The Paris-Tehran route which was suspended eight years ago when international sanctions were imposed against Iran, is to resume April 17 with flights three times a day. The renewed flights were authorized in light of the nuclear deal signed last July between Iran and the six world powers, which included lifting sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

All female crew members have been informed they must cover their hair with veils or head scarves, wear slacks and don loose-fitting jackets before leaving the plane in Tehran.

The airline staff and union groups have strongly condemned the new dress code and cabin crews are saying they will strike when the route resumes. They called the requirement an “ostentatious religious sign” that goes against French law and an attack on individual freedom.

Union leader Françoise Redolfi was quoted by French radio station RFI as saying, “We have to let the women choose what they want to wear. Those who don’t wish to, must be able to say they don’t want to work on those flights.”

Redolfi added that female flight attendants told her that it is “out of the question” to wear head scarves because “it’s not professional” and they view it as an “insult to their dignity.”

But such a requirement is apparently not as new for the airline as union members might make it out to be: Air France said the rules already apply to cabin crew during stopovers in Saudi Arabia, where female staff are required to wear an abaya to cover their body.

Iranian women have been forced to wear a hair covering since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

But in France, there has been a severe backlash against veils and even head scarves since the terror attacks that were carried out in Paris by radical Islamist terrorists. The same full-face veils that might obscure a woman’s identification in Tehran are now banned in public places; head scarves covering the hair are also banned in schools and state offices.

In its response, Air France commented, “Iranian law requires the wearing of a veil covering the hair in public places for all women present on its territory. This obligation is not required during the flight and is respected by all international airlines serving the Iranian Republic.”

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Groups Back Muslim Woman’s Headscarf Appeal to Supreme Court

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Two Jewish groups joined a friend of the court brief on behalf of a Muslim woman whose right to wear a headscarf in a retail job is under consideration by the Supreme Court.

The court on Thursday agreed to hear the case, Politico reported.

The American Jewish Committee and the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism joined an amicus with Christian, Muslim and Sikh groups. The Anti-Defamation League and the Orthodox Union also are considering amicus briefs.

The federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission brought the suit against Abercrombie & Fitch on behalf of Samantha Elauf, who had been recommended for hiring at an outlet in Tulsa, Okla. The outlet subsequently reversed its recommendation.

A lower court, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, ruled against Elauf, saying that she needed to give “explicit notice of the conflicting religious practice and the need for an accommodation for it, in order to have an actionable claim for denial of such an accommodation.”

That decision described Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Look Policy,” which, the court said, the retailer considers “critical to the health and vitality of its ‘preppy’ and ‘casual’ brand.”

Elauf contends that wearing the headscarf during her interview and communications with managers through a friend who worked at the store was sufficient.

The friend had checked with one manager who, citing the case of an employee who had worn a yarmulke, said there should not be a problem.

Elauf interviewed with another manager who was not certain of the policy and after consulting with her superiors dropped her initial recommendation to hire. Elauf did not explicitly raise her faith as an issue during the interview.

The religious groups argue in their brief that requiring an explicit notice of religious requirements is overly stringent.

“Hiring processes are often technologically structured in a way that precludes the employee from even raising the issue during the application process,” the brief argues.

JTA

Philadelphia’s Burqa Crisis

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Philadelphia, the city where I live, has quietly and unassumedly become the capital of the Western world as regards female Islamic garb as an accessory to crime.

By my count, the Philadelphia region has witnessed 14 robberies (or attempted robberies) of financial institutions in the past six years in which the thieves relied on an Islamic full-body cover. They took place in January 2007, June 2007, May 2008, November 2009, October 2010 (two), February 2011, June 2011, December 2011, January 2012, March 2012 (two), and April 2012 (two). The most violent attack took place on May 3, 2008, when Police Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski was killed with an AK-47 in a shoot-out following a successful robbery using burqas; the police then killed one of the criminals.

First, a tutorial on Islamic coverings, all of which tend to be called veils in English but fall into three main categories. Some (the abayahijabchadorjilbab, or khimar) cover parts of the body, especially the hair, neck, and shoulders, but reveal the face and identity of the woman; some cover the face (the yashmak) but show the body shape; and some hide the whole body, including the identity and gender of the wearer. The latter – our topic here – is better described as a full-body cover than a veil: it in turn has two types, those that cover the person entirely (the chadari or burqa) or those with a slit for the eyes (the haik or niqab).

As the Middle East Forum’s David J. Rusin points out in his detailed survey of Philadelphia burqa crimes, Muslim garb holds two great advantages over other forms of disguise: First, many full-body covered women walk the streets without criminal intent, thereby inadvertently providing cover for thieves; the more full-body coverings abound, the more likely that these will facilitate criminal activity. Second, the very strangeness and aloofness of these garments affords their wearers, including criminals, an extraordinary degree of protection. As in other cases (three purchases of alcohol in Toronto state liquor stores by a 14-year-old boy in a burqa; Muslim women not checked at Canadian airports), clerks so fear being accused of racism or “Islamophobia” that they skip state-mandated procedures, such as requiring niqabis to show their faces and establish their identities.

To their credit, some banks no longer allow head coverings. For example, a PNC Bank office in Philadelphia boasts a front-door sign stating: “The safety of our employees and customers is our foremost concern. We request that you remove any hats, caps, sunglasses or hoods while inside this financial institution.” Such policies should reduce burqa bank robberies.

But as banks become harder targets, Islamic garb presents a more general danger to soft targets. For example, in the Philadelphia area, assailants donned Islamic garb to rob a real estate office in 2008 and commit murder at a barber shop in 2012.

Not fatal but equally horrific, was the Jan. 14-15 abduction and rape of a 5-year-old child in Philadelphia. A niqabi signed Nailla Robinson out from the Bryant Elementary School pretending to be her mother taking her to breakfast. Investigators believe the two walked a few blocks to where a man awaited them. Nailla then disappeared for nearly a day and was only found the next morning shivering half-naked in a park by a passerby. Last week, the police arrested Christina Regusters, 19, an daycare center employee with prior contact with Nailla. The fourteen charges against her include kidnapping, rape, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and criminal conspiracy.

The usual two factors noted above were critical to this crime’s commission: the spread of full-body gear (Nailla’s mother, Latifah Rashid, wears Islamic garb, meaning the abductor could plausibly pretend to be her) and the Bryant school staff deferring to a niqabi (completely ignoring the many rules pertaining to the escorting of a child from school).

This survey of Philadelphia’s crisis prompts several reflections: First, almost any Western city at any time could have Philadelphia’s problems. Second, this is deadly serious issue, involving violent robberies, rapes, and murders. Third, as full-body Islamic covers spread, criminals increasingly depend on them. Fourth, government workers need to surmount their timidity and apply normal procedures even to those wearing full-body covers, even in liquor shops, airports, and elementary schools. Finally, this problem has an obvious solution: ban the niqab and burqa in public places, as the national governments in France and Belgium have recently done.

Daniel Pipes

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/philadelphias-burqa-crisis/2013/02/25/

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