A U.K. man is appealing to wear a colander as “religious headgear” in his driver’s license photo.
Ian Harris, 51, is a devout member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and he is fighting for his right to wear the pasta-straining kitchen utensil on his head as a religious garment.
Harris’s photo was originally denied by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, who deemed the image of him wearing the metal bowl on his head as “not suitable.”
But Harris is appealing that decision, claiming that just as people are allowed to wear Sikh turbans or Islamic Hijabs to honor their faith, he should be allowed to wear a colander on his head to honor his.
“I’m fighting for the right to have my religious headgear shown on my photo,” Harris told the Daily Mirror. “I don’t understand the DVLA should be able to discriminate whether my religion is valid.
“I have a spiritual connection with the Flying Spaghetti Monster," he added, "until they have brain probes how are they going to say I don’t.
“Our religion is a minority but the DVLA is discriminating because it allows people who practice major religions to wear headgear in pictures," Harris said.
According to Venganza.org, members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster refer to themselves as Pastafarians.
The websites states that as Pastafarians, they “believe the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the world much as it exists today, but for reasons unknown made it appear that the universe is billions of years old (instead of thousands) and that life evolved into its current state (rather than created in its current form). Every time a researcher carries out an experiment that appears to confirm one of these 'scientific theories' supporting an old earth and evolution we can be sure that the FSM is there, modifying the data with his Noodly Appendage. We don’t know why He does this but we believe He does, that is our faith.”
A DVLA spokesman said: “The photograph must be clear and be a current likeness to allow the police to link the driver to driving entitlement held without confusion or ambiguity. Headgear is generally not acceptable, but may be permissible on religious or medical grounds and any exemptions are dealt with on a case to case basis.”
Harris remains determined to win his case.
“When I get to the final appeal I will have to send a photo without a colander but that would be a bad day for religious freedom,” Harris said.
Both Harris and his 4-year-old daughter Astri are members of the religion. Fellow believer Niko Alm had previously won the legal right to wear the colander as religious headgear in his license photo in 2011.
Photo Credit: Daily Mirror