Catholic Airport Worker Suspended for Displaying a Picture of Jesus

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: October 10, 2007

Category: Government Restrictions

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Private



Manchester, England - A Catholic airport worker was suspended for displaying an image of Jesus on a staff room wall after a Muslim colleague made a complaint against him.

Joanna Sugden, “Times,” October 10, 2007
 
“Catholic airport worker suspended for displaying a picture of Jesus"
 Manchester, England - A Catholic airport worker was suspended for displaying an image of Jesus on a staff room wall after a Muslim colleague made a complaint against him.
 The picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a subject of devotion for many Catholics, was put up by Gareth Langmead at Manchester City Airport as “an act of provocation” according to the complaint.
 Mr Langmead, a car park supervisor, found the image when clearing out a desk drawer and hung it up rather than discarding it. But a Muslim colleague complained about the picture and Mr Langmead was escorted off the airport’s premises and barred from work while bosses investigated the claim.
 A spokesman for the airport said Mr Langmead had been found innocent of wrongdoing and was reinstated after three days. But he admitted that lessons would be learnt from the handling of the incident.
 “This investigation was swiftly concluded and the employee has returned to work with a clean record,” he said, “Given the nature of this incident, we have agreed with our airport Chaplain that he and his team will work with the employees involved to foster a greater level of understanding about each other’s beliefs and how this applies in the workplace.”
 Mr Langmead’s suspension comes only weeks after a Hindu airport worker at Heathrow lost her job for wearing a nose stud as part of her religion. Amrit Lalji, 40, was reinstated as a customer relations worker after an appeal. Last year Nadia Eweida, a Christian British Airways check-in worker at Heathrow, was suspended for four months for wearing a cross on her necklace. After appeals by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the airline agreed to review its uniform policy and she returned to work.
 
(Joanna Sugden, “Times,” October 10, 2007)