UK

Pastafarian Obi Canuel Demands Right To Wear Colander On Head For Driving Licence Photo

15/08/2014 13:39 BST | Updated 15/08/2014 14:59 BST

A Pastafarian is fighting for his right to wear a colander on his head in his driving licence photo.

Obi Canuel, who is an ordained minister with the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, says wearing the kitchen implement is key to his religious beliefs.

But insurance company ICBC has refused to issue the British Columbia man a new licence unless he provides them with a picture of him not wearing the colander.

pastafarian obi canuel

Obi Canuel wants the right to wear a colander on his head for his driving licence photo

He told CTV News: “The truth is sometimes I have the spiritual inkling to wear the colander and I don’t think ICBC should be making decisions about what kind of religious headgear is appropriate or not.”

The ICBC website says it honours individuals’ rights “to religious expression. You will not be asked to remove any headgear that does not interfere with facial recognition technology as long as it is worn in conjunction with religious practice, or is needed as a result of medical treatment.”

After months of correspondence, the ICBC wrote to Canuel saying there was “no religious requirement that prohibits you from removing the colander for the purpose of taking the photo to appear on your driver’s license.”

The decision has prompted Canuel to release the above video detailing his plight (and presumably ride a bicycle in the meantime.)

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is often used by atheists to critique belief in a supreme being, and features in Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion. Pastafarianism is a movement that parodies religion, and opposes the teaching of intelligent design.

The movement - which began in the USA - mocks orthodox religious teaching by satirising their beliefs.

Worshippers end prayers by chanting Ramen - after Japanese noodles - instead of Amen.

In January Christopher Shaeffer, a ‘Pastafarian’ minister was sworn in to serve on the local town council of Pomfret in New York State.

Schaeffer attended the ceremony wearing a colander on his head

In 2011 one follower of the religion in Austria won the right to wear a sieve on his head in his driving licence photo after claiming it was official religious headgear.

A similar case was also won by a man in the Czech Republic who claimed his religion requires him to wear a sieve on his head and was allowed to use a snap of himself in the bizarre headgear on his official identity card.

church of the flying spaghetti monster