UK

Muslim Man Sacked From Paris Airport Job Over Beard Kept It For 'Hipster' Reasons, Not Religion

18/12/2015 16:47 GMT | Updated 18/12/2015 16:59 GMT

A Muslim man who was fired from a Paris airport security job partly due to his long beard has claimed he kept it for "hipster" rather than religious reasons.

The man, 28-year-old called Bachir, claimed he was warned about his beard at work at Orly Airport a week after the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13.

When he refused to cut it, he was sent home and then received a letter saying he had been dismissed, he said.

He told Le Parisien the beard: "was for fashion, in a hipster style... and not for religion".

He also told the paper that one of his colleagues joked he would need a lawnmower to get trim his beard.

He and another man, 34-year-old Beshir, was dismissed for failing to trim his beard earlier in the year, before the terrorist attacks.

the men

The two men being interviewed on BFM TV

Both men have launched legal action, challenging their dismissals.

A spokesperson for Securitas, which employed them and operates security at the airport, told Agence France Presse Bachir had committed "serious breaches" of the company's policy.

He said Bachir's beard was "an additional but not essential factor" for his dismissal but added other factors such as absence from work, being late and too much "chattering" which was also related to a series of absences, lateness, and too much "chattering" at work.

Around 70 people who worked in airport secure zones - as baggage handlers and security personnel - have reportedly had their clearances revoked since the November attacks on Paris.