Miscellaneous Roundup

No benefits with burka - Amsterdam alderman Ahmed Aboutaleb suggests in a recent interview that women who wear a burka will not receive unemployment benefits.

“I think it just that the benefits be refused since such a woman places herself outside the job market. Nobody wants a worker with a burka. In that case I say: take off the burka and apply for a job. If you don’t want to do it: that’s also good, but then no benefits.” (Dutch)

Hip hijabIn 1999, while seeking a graduate project idea at the Design Academy of Eindhoven, Cindy van den Bremen found a problem-solving opportunity.

The Dutch Commission of Equal Treatment had recently ruled that high schools could prohibit Muslim girls from wearing head coverings in gym class. Girls were advised to wear turtlenecks teamed with swim caps. But some were ignoring the sartorial advice, preferring instead to skip gym all together.

For Ms. van den Bremen, the phys-ed class controversy offered a means to marry her political sense of injustice with her professional expertise. "I realized that if the hijabs did not look traditional, but hip and trendy, they could possibly change prejudice into some sort of admiration," says the young Dutch designer.

Within months, the "capster" was born, and quickly blossomed into a business. In four styles designed for tennis, skating, aerobics, and outdoor sports, van den Bremen's head coverings were sleek, safe, and - in the words of a local Islamic cleric - "Islamically correct."

UK Navy Gets First Muslim AdmiralThe Royal Navy has appointed its first Muslim Rear Admiral, Pakistan-born Amjad Hussain, a British newspaper said Friday, April 14.

"I count myself very lucky to live in a country where the opportunities have been beyond my imagination," Hussain told The Sun.

Rear Admiral is the fourth-highest rank in the Royal Navy, equivalent to a major-general in the Army or an Air Vice-Marshal in the Royal Air Force.

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