Airline Employee has Cross to Bear, Not Wear

January 10, 2007

Author: Steve Skelley

Source: Z Wire

An British Airline employee was removed from her job after she wore a small cross necklace, while Muslim and Sikh employees were allowed to wear their religious scarves and turbans.

According to a report in Christianity Today, Nadia Ewedia was removed from her job as a check-in clerk at British Airways after being told her small cross pendant violated company policy. Ewedia explained to British Airways officials that she wore her cross as a symbol of her deeply held religious beliefs, in the same way that fellow Muslim employees wear their head scarves and Sikhs wear their turbans.

British Airways released a statement that Muslims' hijabs (head scarves) and Sikhs' turbans and traditional iron bangles could be worn at work, as it is "not practical" to conceal them. They would not allow Nadia Ewedia to wear a small cross pendant unless she concealed it under her uniform.

Ewedia has been successfully employed by British Airways for seven years, and yet was sent home from her job and placed on disciplinary leave until a hearing is scheduled. Ewedia, whose father is Egyptian and mother is British, was quoted as saying, "Only Christians are forbidden to express their faith." Adlai Stevenson said, "Bad administration can destroy good policy but good administration can never save bad policy."

The British Airways policy to support religious expression of some people of faith, yet not Christians, is discriminatory,, and a perfect example of extremely bad policy. Reprimanding Nadia Ewedia for asking to be treated with the same respect as her coworkers is foolish. People of faith everywhere should be outraged.