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After Paris Terror Attacks, France Struggles With Faith on the Job
by Nicola Clark
A week after the terrorist attacks in France last November, Bachir B., a passenger screener at Orly airport south of Paris, was called into his manager's office. Bachir, a devout Muslim who wears a thick beard in keeping with his faith, was ordered to trim his facial hair. His boss even offered to buy him a beard clipper as a birthday gift.
While supervisors had sometimes reminded him of a company dress code requiring whiskers to be kept "tidy" and "short," Bachir said that the rule had been enforced only sporadically over his six years working for Securitas, a private security company. This time, the manager made clear that the new crackdown was "because of what was happening in the news," said Bachir, who asked that his last name not be used to protect his family's privacy.
Bachir trimmed his beard that weekend. But he said his boss sent him home about 10 days later, again citing his failure to comply with the dress code. Soon after, Bachir received a registered letter from Securitas, saying that he was fired.
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