‘Fury as BA says it would allow Muslim veil but not cross’

“British Airways has been accused of appalling double standards after admitting Muslim staff may be allowed to wear veils – just weeks after it sent a Christian home for wearing a cross. Check-in worker Nadia Eweida has been on unpaid leave for a month after the airline banned her from wearing her tiny cross on a necklace over her uniform…. She demanded to know why she had to hide her faith from the public when Muslims and Sikhs can openly display theirs by wearing hijabs, turbans, and possibly a full-face veil.”

Daily Mail, 26 October 2006

Of course, the answer is that Muslim women who wear the hijab or Sikh men who wear a turban do so because they believe it is a requirement of their faith. So far as I know, no Christian denomination requires its adherents to display a cross.

Nevertheless, BA’s stupidity in denying Nadia Eweida the right to do so has simply opened the door for racists in the right-wing press to take up the refrain about favours being granted to minority ethno-religious groups that are supposedly denied to the white Christian majority.