When does catering to customers become surrender? You decide…
Air France is scheduled to resume flights to the Iranian capital of Tehran on April 17th after the lifting of international sanctions.
In preparation for the flights, an internal email went out to female crew members instructing them to wear trousers during flights to Iran and to don a “loose-fitting jacket and headscarf” before leaving the plane in Tehran, according The Guardian.
Staff representatives have accused the airline, which will resume flights to the Iranian capital later this month, of forcing female staff to wear clothes that are an “ostentatious religious sign” that goes against French law.
Union leaders said the dress code was an attack on individual freedoms and insisted the measure had to be voluntary; Air France said the rules were not new and already applied to cabin crew during stop-overs in Saudi Arabia where hostesses were required to wear an abaya covering their body.
Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, women in Iran have been required to cover their heads. In France, headscarves are banned in schools and colleges, and full veils are outlawed in public places.
Facing a crew mutiny, Air France has come up with what it hopes is an acceptable compromise: head scarves are still required, but according to Gilles Gateau, Air France’s human resources director, there will be an opt-out clause for any female employee affected on the Paris-Tehran route, according to the BBC. If, for personal reasons, they don’t want to wear the headscarf when they leave the plane, they would be reassigned to another destination.”
Mr Gateau said the company “had heard from a number of women, be they air hostesses or pilots, who said following this rule would be a problem for them.”
Flore Arrighi, of the cabin crew union Unac, said before the meeting it was crucial that staff who opted out of flying to Tehran were not sanctioned by Air France.
Perhaps the management of Air France is unfamiliar with the term “dhimmi,” the name applied by the Arab-Muslim conquerors to the non-Muslim populations who had surrendered by a treaty (dhimma) to Muslim domination.
Since when is the Western culture of France subservient to the Muslim culture of Iran? When there’s money involved? Sounds a bit like the world’s oldest profession to me. Hat tip to the women of Air France who refuse to bow in supplication. And shame on Air France for taking a knee on this one just for the sake of its bottom line.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]