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When in Rome… or Tehran.
Air France stewardesses are being required to wear headscarves on flights from Paris to Tehran and they are not happy about it.
After an eight year hiatus, the airline resumes services to the city later this month as a byproduct of the Iran nuclear deal and female flight crew members have been told to cover their hair once they disembark in the Iranian city, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Stewardesses have also been told to wear a long jacket and trousers on these flights — they normally have the choice of wearing skirts or trousers.
The Telegraph noted that France is “staunchly secular” and that public signs of religion have been frowned upon since a 1905 law separating church and state.
“French women see Islamic headscarves and veils as an affront to their dignity,” the newspaper reported. “Headscarves are banned in French state schools and offices, and it is illegal to wear the full-face Muslim veil in public.”
Unions are pushing back, saying women should have the option to opt out of flights to Tehran.
“It is not our role to pass judgment on the wearing of headscarves or veils in Iran,” UNAC flight crews’ union chief Flore Arrighi said. “What we are denouncing is that it is being made compulsory. Stewardesses must be given the right to refuse these flights.”
Seeing the Tehran flights as an “excellent business development,” the financially struggling airline is downplaying the controversy.
“Tolerance and respect for the customs of the countries we serve are part of the values of our company,” an Air France spokesman said.
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