Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Christian Woman Fired From Jordan Bank For Refusing To Wear Headscarf

Here's an interesting situation. A Christian bank worker was fired from her job at the Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank for refusing to wear a headscarf. Vivian Salameh claims that she

“refused to wear the partial head cover because it is against my principles.”

Apparently, the headscarf is now an approved (in January) part of the women's dress code at the bank, and Salameh had been warned, at least so says the bank's rep Iman Afaneh. According to Afaneh,

“Five other Christian women are working at the bank, and they are committed to wearing full uniform, including the headscarf.”

So what? Because 5 others have no problem with that doesn't make it okay for the one who does have issues. Besides, Salameh says that's not so:

“The bank uniform registered at the trade and industry ministry does not include wearing anything to cover my hair.”

But here's the deal, if you are working for an Islamic bank (or any other company that has a specific dress code) then, sorry, you need to abide by those rules. If you have a problem with that and refuse to comply, then they have a right to fire you or you need to quit. Perhaps she was hired when the headscarf was not mandatory, but if it is now, she needs to wear it or find another job.
Now this is where it gets interesting. This same kind of situation happens in the West all the time, only it's Muslims who want to wear their hijabs in companies or venues that have certain dress codes, and when they refuse to follow company rules and are fired, they enlist the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)  to intervene on their behalf, or file complaints and sue.  More often than not those companies cave. There were several cases that Disney had to deal with recently, one of which CAIR bullied its way into winning.  An intern who never mentioned during the phone interview that she wore a hijab was eventually accommodated, and she accepted the compromise.  In another case, a themed restaurant hostess Imane Boudlal, who initially was hired sans hijab and suddenly got religious on the job, filed a complaint and sued Disney for refusing to allow her to wear her scarf, even though they also bent over backwards trying to  accommodate her. I wasn't able to find any updates on that case, but hopefully it was thrown out.

Bottom line, if you are going to work at a company that requires a strict dress code, then be prepared to follow the rules, if not, find alternate employment.

No comments: