BA lifts ban on wearing cross
British Airlines has backed away from banning Miss Nadia Eweida or any other employee from wearing a cross. The airline buckled under a storm of criticism from Archbishop Dr John Sentamu (see below), 100 MPs and Cabinet Ministers, the Transport and General Workers Union, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Benedict. According to the Daily Mail, "Critics pointed out that the airline let her Muslim and Sikh colleagues at Heathrow wear religious symbols – headscarves and turbans – on the grounds that it would be impractical to hide them under uniforms." BA refused to allow Miss Eweida to wear a tiny cross, and denied her appeal.
"Cardinal Walter Kasper, Pope Benedict's aide in charge of relations with other churches, summed up our view when he remarked of the ban: 'I find it very surprising that in a country of such rich traditions and religious freedom such a thing should be considered.'"
The devil is in the details. We will have to see exactly how BA will "allow symbols of faith to be worn openly while remaining consistent with the British Airways brand and compliant with employment legislation." Meanwhile, Miss Eweida, off two months without pay, hopes to return to her job.