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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Muslim Airport Employee Suspended For Refusing To Wear Knee-Length Skirt

A security guard at Toronto's Pearson Airport was ordered off the job for wearing a skirt that's too long.

Halima Muse, a practicing Muslim, was laid off without pay by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority until she agrees to wear a standard uniform that includes either slacks or a skirt that falls at the knee.

Not willing to oblige by the rules, she took matters into her own hands and filed a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission saying she was the target of religious discrimination, since Islam instructs that she dress modestly.

Muse, 33, claims that she's never had any problems with her employer in the five years that she's worked there, until now. She told media that her decision to sport the longer skirt was not a matter of personal style, it was about dignity.

In a statement she made to the Commission, Muse said she never liked the uniform pants that she used to wear because they showed the shape of her body. So she asked the person in charge of work attire for a skirt that's longer than the standard one, but was told it didn't exist. So she went out and bought material matching in colour and made her own skirt that reached her ankle.

For six months, nobody said anything to her about the garment until a manager told her she had to conform to regulations. She was suspended for one day on Aug. 11, then for three days on Aug. 15 followed by a subsequent five-day suspension and then was sent home indefinitely on Aug. 29. [Link]

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