Ann Widdecombe MP calls on Christians to boycott British Airways
An over-reaction? Possibly, but it is worth considering what religious symbols BA permits, and why:
Hijab: permitted. Reason: ‘not practical for staff to conceal beneath their uniforms’.
Turban: permitted. Reason: ‘not practical for staff to conceal beneath their uniforms’.
Kara: permitted. Reason: ‘not practical for staff to conceal beneath their uniforms’.
Cross (this one literally the size of a 5p piece): not permitted. Reason: it is contrary to BA’s policy of ‘respecting and understanding other people's beliefs’.
Miss Eweida said the cross reminds her that she ‘belongs to Jesus - one body, one spirit, one baptism’. She was informed by BA: ‘You were asked to cover up or remove your cross and chain which you refused to do. British Airways uniform standards stipulate that adornments of any kind are not to be worn with the uniform.’
BA uniform policy states that these items can be worn, but beneath the uniform. There is therefore no ‘ban’, as such, but Ann Widdecombe asserts: ‘We are supposed to live in a free country. Everyone should be able to practise their beliefs.’ She said that while a Muslim could wear a headscarf or a Sikh could wear a turban, ‘Christians have to stick their crucifixes behind their BA blouses’.
Cranmer understands that Miss Eweida’s appeal is sometime this week. If she loses, His Grace has a solution. He has in his possession a very large silver cross; it is fully 10 inches in length. He is prepared to loan this to Miss Eweida, and BA could not possibly object to her wearing it because ‘it would not be practical for her to conceal beneath her uniform’.
A helpful communicant has forwarded very useful contact information. The people at BA to whom one might complain are:
Willie Walsh, via his PA: firstname.lastname@example.org
and Company Secretary: email@example.com
Blessings on your efforts.