Thursday, March 08, 2007

Veiled Teaching Assistant Appeals

Remember Aisha Azmi, the teaching assistant from Dewsbury? She was suspended from her job because she refused to remove her full face veil when working and children complained that they couldn't understand her properly. The case was taken to a tribunal who ruled in favour of the school. Well, today she is appealing the tribunal's decision.

Frankly, there doesn't seem to be a case to answer; she couldn't carry out her job properly. Yes, she has the right to dress as she pleases (even if her choice does stretch the level of tolerance we have in this country) but she must live with that choice. Her decision to wear a veil means that she cannot be a teacher, in the same way as a person's decision not to study nuclear physics means that they cannot be a nuclear physicist.

However, it should be noted that her decision to wear a veil was because she was told to by her local Imam (see here), who was a member of Tablighi Jamaat, a radical Muslim group. As was noted at the time (see here) Azmi's father was working in an Islamic school also run by Tablighi Jamaat.