A student has been creating a hubbub at England’s Bromley College for a year because of her refusal to doff her cap when inside the facility, saying she’ll keep it on until Muslim women remove their own headgear.
Caroline Powell, 39, attends Greenwich University, which shares some of the facilities in Bromley College in Bromley, England, according to UK ‘s News Shopper.
Powell said she won’t bow down to the “double standards” of being forced to remove her cap while Muslim women are allowed to wear headdresses.
“It started in September last year when I got stopped at the door by a woman and she said, ‘You need to take your cap off,’” Powell told News Shopper, according to Young Conservatives. “It is a small, black leather cap, but it’s part of my identity. She said, ‘You need to take it off, they are the rules.’ A Muslim woman walked in behind me, and I asked if she was going to ask her to take off her headdress.”
The Bromley official told Powell her cap has to be be removed for security reasons.
“They said it was so they could ID all users of the college, so nothing can obscure their face,” Powerll said. “But all these Muslim women are walking in with scarves across their face.”
A Bromley College spokesperson made the following statement, according to News Shopper:
The College has a policy in place regarding student dress code, and we specify that no hoods, hats or other headwear is to be worn inside the College buildings.
This policy has been set for reasons of security for all those using the College so that people can be clearly identified – it is also useful for not obscuring faces from CCTV.
This policy has been in place during 2012/13, and forms part of the rules that each student signs up to on their enrolment form each year at College.
The College treats all students respectfully and equally, and this policy is consistently applied to all students to protect our safe environment.
We operate exceptions to this rule on the grounds of religious, medical, cultural or other reasons, and students can write to the College if they would like to be considered to be exempt, which is then assessed and the student is informed of this decision.
Tensions have escalated to the point that Powell said she fears she will be expelled because of her stance News Shopper reported.
“If one rule is made for all, then fine, but I am not going to be treated like this when everyone else is allowed to do what they want,” she said. “I feel it is totally double standards.”