Scotland police introduce option of wearing a hijab as uniform

They hope that it will encourage muslim women to join

There is now the option for police in Scotland to wear a hijab as a formal part of their uniform.

This decision from Police Scotland comes after controversy surrounding the French police ordering a muslim woman to remove clothing on a beach, due to the burkini having been banned.

Police Scotland Tweeted their announcement of the new choice of uniform two days ago:

This was followed by a Tweet stating that “recruitment is open for all”:

This is all to encourage muslim women to join the police force, and to illustrate Police Scotland’s inclusive attitude towards different cultures and faiths.

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: “I am delighted to make this announcement and welcome the support from both the Muslim community, and the wider community, as well as police officers and staff.

“Like many other employers, especially in the public sector, we are working towards ensuring our service is representative of the communities we serve.

“I hope that this addition to our uniform options will contribute to making our staff mix more diverse and adds to the life skills, experiences, and personal qualities that our officers and staff bring to policing the communities of Scotland.”

All employees of Police Scotland have always had the option of wearing religious garments or symbols, however, this move to formally introduce the option of a hijab creates an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for those who wish to wear one.

Fahad Bashir, the chair of the Scottish Police Muslim Association, said: “This is a positive step in the right direction, and I am delighted that Police Scotland is taking productive steps in order to ensure that our organisation is seen to be inclusive and represents the diverse communities that we serve across Scotland.

“No doubt this will encourage more women from Muslim and minority ethnic backgrounds to join Police Scotland.”

The Metropolitan Police made this move a decade ago, but SNP MP Tasmina Sheikh said the decision made by Police Scotland earlier this week is a “welcome contrast” to events in France.

The burkini, a form of swimwear worn by many muslim women, has been banned in France. Multiple videos of police fining women for wearing hijabs at the beach, as well as forcing them to be removed, have been released online. This has led to a vast online response, and protests are even being organised to fight the burka ban.

Sheikh, the MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, said: “The images we have seen from France – of a woman sleeping on a beach being approached by armed police and then humiliatingly forced to remove her birkini – are disturbing.

“The ban on burkinis by the authorities in several French towns is deplorable – the police should not be in a position to tell women what to wear in any circumstances, whether this is related to their faith or not. In contrast, Police Scotland have announced they are adding the hijab to their uniform options.”

The SNP MP added: “Just as the police acted to ensure fair treatment of Sikh men whose faith requires them to wear turbans, this is a welcome move which will hopefully help create a more diverse and representative police force for all our communities.”