Muslim man denied job as security guard because of too long beard

Muslim man denied job as security guard because of too long beard
A Muslim man feels discriminated against by the security firm Nokas in Norway, because he was denied a job as a security guard at the airport when he refused to cut his beard. Passengers have complained that beard gave associations to extremist groups, says the security firm.

The man believed he was discriminated against because of religion when he was not hired after completing a safety course in Nokas, writes Aftenposten.

Nokas is responsible for security at Gardermoen Airport in Oslo, and points out that before this conflict, several passengers had complained that employees at the security checkpoint had a beard that gave associations to extremist groups. They believe security personnel should be perceived as neutral and unprejudiced. The firm received support from the Norwegian Equality Tribunal.

- Long beards are not in line with our uniform regulation, regardless of whether it's about biker-, hipster- or religious beards, says Harald Gjengstø, organization and development manager in Nokas.

The Muslim man's attorney Thorkil H. Aschehoug, believes the security company broke the discrimination law.

- The decision also opens for a broader ban on religious symbols in the workplace, he said.

Securitas, which is responsible for security at all the other airports in Norway, allows long beards.

- Yes absolutely. These days there are many who have a fist-long beard, said marketing and communications director Jarle Ramskjær, referring to the beard fashion among young men.

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