Amidst raging controversy over French authorities banning Burkini at the country’s beaches, police in Scotland have announced that the hijab will become part of its official uniform.
The decision, according to British media, is aimed at creating a more diverse force. This has been necessitated after Scottish officials received only 127 out of the 4,809 applications from ethnic minorities.
A report published in The Independent said that the Scotland police hoped their decision will “encourage women from Muslim communities, who may previously not have seen policing as a career option, to reconsider.”
The latest decision assumes significance given that the Muslim lady officers wishing to wear hijab in the past were required to seek prior approval from the senior officers.
The cops in London, also known as the Metropolitan Police, too had introduced the hijab as an option for Muslim women officers to wear as uniform in 2001.
Scotland’s 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.”
The Scottish Police Muslim Association (SPMA), a group that aims to build links between Muslim communities in Scotland and the police, has welcomed the move saying that this was a positive step in the right direction.
Fahad Bashir, chair of the SPMA 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.”