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Swedish Woman Shocked at SAS Uniform Policy Banning Headscarves

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A Swedish woman has explained her shock at being told during a job interview with Scandinavian airline SAS that she would have to take off her headscarf if she wanted the position.

Aye Alhassani, 23, had completed several tests and a group interview before she was invited to an individual interview for the position with the airline. It was during the interview that she was informed SAS has a uniform policy banning the wearing of religious symbols.

“At first they were cautious and I don’t think the interviewer wanted to be straight about it. But eventually it was clarified that it’s not permitted to wear a headscarf according to their policy. I was quite shocked,” Alhassani told The Local.

The 23-year-old asked why they had chosen to wait until her individual interview to inform her about the rule.

“It would’ve been better to get that information early in the process, because I could’ve then looked for other jobs and not prioritized the SAS job over others and let them go. There are many things you have to think about as a company when you’re recruiting. The interviewer clarified to me they wanted to give me a choice in person to take off the headscarf for the job. Which annoyed me.”

In a comment, SAS Sweden’s head of media Fredrik Henriksson explained the company has a policy that “applies to all of our employees regardless of religion, culture or ideology”.

“SAS’ uniform follows a neutral, unified visual identity and does not contain any other garments, accessories or political, religious, cultural or ideological symbols.”

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