There are striking parallels between the BA cross-wearing case and a similar dispute at Denbigh High School last year. There, the Luton school had a uniform policy that was agreed with and respected by all parents and pupils, except that is for one selfish religious extremist who demanded it be changed to cover her more personal statement of her Muslim faith, namely wearing a jilbab.
The Muslim Council of Britain inevitably took her side, placing the chance to advance the religious cause against the school’s common-sense approach which had the agreement of the wider community.
BA has a uniform policy respected and adhered to by all its 34,000 uniformed employees, and one which doubtless has been the subject of discussion and agreement with unions.
Again, one selfish religious extremist wants the rules changed to fit her personal demands. Again, a spokesman for the religion involved, in this case the Archbishop of York, places that demand above the need for the company to apply a commonsense dress code that 33,999 other people appear happy to accept.
BA is to be congratulated for sticking to its guns. No company should have its policies dictated to it by any one religious fundamentalist engaged in silly posturing, nor be intimidated by the religious lobby.
Letter from Alistair McBay of the National Secular Society in the Courier, 27 November 2006