An air stewardess is claiming religious discrimination against an airline which she says banned her from taking the Bible to Saudi Arabia.
The stewardess has been told by BMI that it is against the law of the insular Middle Eastern country to bring in religious books other than the Koran.
The woman, who is understood to be a committed Christian, takes her bible everywhere she goes and is now set to take the airline to an industrial tribunal claiming discrimination on religious grounds.
Here's the same story in an Israeli newspaper, which goes on to tell you that, "even even Christmas trees are banned in the oil-rich kingdom, which claims to allow religious freedom. An Iowa woman wrote in the Wichita Eagle earlier this month about her experience in 2003. "Christianity was not allowed to be practiced," wrote Charlotte Brock Rady. "Shopping in the back alleys of Jeddah one night, we discovered a market that had hidden away upstairs in a dark room a small artificial Christmas tree and lights."
Another worker in the country reported that her tree was confiscated at the border.
Nevertheless, on a recent visit to Princeton University, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal declared, "Arab tradition and Muslim tradition is geared towards having an open mind. Muslim religion accepts Christianity and Judaism."
Last year, a Saudi Arabian court sentenced a teacher to 40 months in prison and 750 lashes for discussing the Bible and praising Jews.
He was charged with promoting a "dubious ideology, mocking religion, saying the Jews were right, discussing the Gospel and preventing students from leaving class to wash for prayer," according to a local newspaper report."