Jan 28 2010
The case of a British Airways worker banned from displaying a cross around her neck “plays into the hands of Muslim extremists” because it suggests that Christians do not have the same rights as other religions.
The case of a British Airways employee banned from wearing a cross at work is due to be heard at the court of appeal later.
Nadia Eweida, a BA check-in member of staff, was prevented from wearing the Christian symbol while working for the airline.
Today the court of appeal will consider the judgment made by the employment appeal tribunal in November 2008 which declared the ban was not discriminatory.
BA has since changed its uniform policy, however Ms Eweida’s legal representatives, the campaign group Liberty, argue the airline has not admitted its original policy was unlawful or paid her for the three months she was prevented from working.
On the day the case is due to be heard, Liberty has also released the findings of a new poll which reveals support for the freedom of all faiths to manifest their religion, with the vast majority of respondents disagreeing with BA’s decision to make Ms Eweida cover up her cross.
Commenting, Corinna Ferguson, legal officer for Liberty, said: “This woman’s cross was as important to her as a Sikh turban or Muslim hijab to other people in our country. British Airways sensibly changed the policy but unfortunately didn’t concede the case which has left a dangerous precedent in the case law what we intend to overturn.
“All that we are seeking for everyone in Britain is freedom of thought, conscience and religion and equal treatment under the law.”
Ms Eweida, from Twickenham, south-west London, was sent home from work on September 2006 after failing to reach a compromise with BA managers over the plain silver cross handing on a chain around her neck.
She was unpaid during that time and did not return to work until early 2007. LINK
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