Headscarf news

Headscarf news

A summary of several recent stories about headscarves in Europe.


Vienna: First headscarf-wearing tram driver

Vienna public-transport agency Wiener Linien has hired the first female Muslim tram driver who wears a headscarf while working.

An agency spokesman has said Wiener Linien is "very satisfied" with the woman, who has been working since the beginning of December. He added there had been no complaints about her by the public.

The agency is unwilling to disclose her identity since she wants it kept secret.

The FPÖ, however, has been upset by the news. The party is planning to ask Vienna SPÖ Mayor Michael Häupl if he is "willing to impose a ban on the wearing of headscarves on public transport."


Source: Austrian Times (English)


Austria: First headscarf discrimination case

A health spa in Burgenland (Austria) was fined 4,500 euro for refusing a headscarf-wearing woman.

Z., a doctor, applied for a job at the spa, but was told she would have to remove her headscarf on the job.  She turned to the Ombud for Equal Treatment, who unsuccessfully tried to mediate.  The spa was not willing to have her wear a headscarf and was therefore fined two months pay.  Z. is the first woman in Austria to sue for religious discrimination for not being able to wear a headscarf.

Source: Der Standard (German)


Sweden: Stewardess ill from headscarf restrictions

Sara Hedlund (32), a stewardess for  Malmö Aviation is prevented from wearing a headscarf while aboard the plane.  She says she feels insulted and got ill due to this.

When she was first employed by the company, two years ago, the administration sent out an internal email to all employees saying they will include a headscarf in the uniform regulations.  However, her boss told her a couple of weeks later that she should take her headscarf off, as they would lose passengers otherwise.

The company says that she should have brought this issue up with her boss and that she wouldn't lose her job because of it.

Source: KVP (Swedish)


Paris: Hair-salon for women

A hair-salon in the Suresnes suburb of Paris advertising a special area for veiled women has caused some commotion. 

The hair-salon union says this might contrary to the separation of religion and state.  A lobby groups of immigrants says this is a form of self-discrimination.  The mayor was also surprised to discover such a hair-salon in his town.

The owner of the Marrakech hair-salon says that this area is meant for all women and not just for Muslim women.

[Ed: I'm sure there are many such salons.  Where else would veiled women go to get their hair cut? ]

Sources: AD (dutch), Le Parisien (French)

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