Muslim Teaching Assistant Sacked Amid Veil Controversy

The Muslim school assistant who was suspended by a Church of England school for refusing to remove her veil whilst teaching, has been sacked.

Published 25 November 2006
The Muslim school assistant who was suspended by a Church of England school for refusing to remove her veil while teaching, has been sacked.

|PIC1|The Church of England school in Dewsbury, West Yorks, asked Aishah Azmi to remove the veil while teaching after pupils complained that they could not understand what she was saying with her veil covering her mouth.

However, after refusing she was suspended - a decision that has sparked the public debate across Europe regarding the wearing of veils.

Following her suspension, an employment tribunal last month ruled that she had not been discriminated against. However, much to the shock of the general consensus, she was awarded £1,100 for "injury to feelings".

Kirklees Council confirmed Friday that Azmi had been sacked. It was reported that a disciplinary hearing had been held into "the circumstances that resulted in the suspension of a bilingual support worker at the school".

A spokesperson said, "As result of the hearing the committee decided to terminate the employment of the employee concerned."

Azmi's lawyer has refused to comment on the decision, saying that he had not yet received written reasons for the dismissal.

"Until we get those we can't make any further comment," Nick Whittingham of the Kirklees Law Centre reported, according to the BBC.

At the tribunal in October, Azmi explained that she was willing to remove her veil in front of children, but not if a male colleague might be present. After losing that tribunal, Azmi is still considering whether to appeal against the decision.

MP for Dewsbury, Shahid Malik, has urged Azmi to accept the tribunal's decision, and stated that the decision had been based on what was best for the education of the children, and was not a religious issue at all.

Malik stated, "While I would absolutely defend her right to wear the veil in society, it's very clear that her wearing the veil in the classroom setting inhibits her ability to support children," according to the BBC.

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