By Iqbal Tamimi
At a time the chief centre of Arabic literature and Islamic learning in the world, Azhar University in Egypt, has endorsed a PhD research refuting the imposition of the veil in Islam, a bank in the moderate Kingdom of neighbouring Jordan fires a Christian employee because she refused to wear a head scarf.
According to local websites, the management of an UAE Islamic bank has distributed at its Jordan branch uniforms to all its employees. The dress code includes head scarfs. Sometime later, the bank issued a decision of firing an employee because she refused to wear a head scarf. The sources say the employee refused to wear a head scarf because it contradicts her personal convictions.
Iman Afaneh, director of Institutional communication and marketing in the "Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank" told "AFP” none of the employees have objected to the dress code issued by management of the Bank, which happens to be the first Islamic bank in the world, founded in 1975 in the UAE.
‘There are non-veiled Muslim women employees and 5 other Christians who complied to the decision, except for the fired employee, Vivian Salamah, who received a number of warnings by the management to abide to the decision of wearing a head scarf, but she continued to ignore the warnings, leading to her dismissal from her post, following a number of consultations with specialists at the Ministry of Labour regarding the bank's legal stand ‘explained Afaneh.
On her part, Vivian Salama, the fired employee, told "AFP” that she did not violate the law, since “the outfit registered at the Ministry of Industry and Trade does not include a head scarf."
It is worth mentioning that the headscarf is now a controversial issue that occupies many debates, especially that some Muslim women who believed the head scarf is not compulsory in Islamic Sharia, found a proof they can rely on, based on Azhar PhD thesis entitled "The hijab is not obligatory in Islam", that has been submitted lately by Muslim scholar, Sheikh Mustafa Mohamed Rashid and accepted by Al Azhar University in Cairo, in which he argues that the hijab is not a requirement of Islam. This conclusion is based on his research that indicates the absence of texts in Quran which imposes on women wearing the veil or the head scarf known as hijab. He also claims that Muslim scholars have misinterpreted the Ayat (verses) that mentioned the head cover.
Many people saw the dismissal decision of a Christian employee as a serious indication of a start for the adoption of new laws that would redefine the relationship with non-Muslims, and the imposition of the veil on female employees could mean forcing males to grow their beards.