This is the story of how Austria came to embrace the pasta headgear. Being a symbol of religious faith in the Pastafari movement Niko Alm was allowed to show a pasta strainer on his driver’s license. The full story, part 3.
The Vienna Police Department gave out a statement about my driver’s license today und naturally tried to wiggle free from the issue and to deny my pasta strainer the status of a religious headgear. The power to define what I wear out of religious reasons still lies at my disposal. Also the newspaper derstandard.at didn’t describe accurately what I’ve before written in my blog. As a matter of fact on the day of my application I did tell the officials that I wear a headgear out of religious beliefs. There’s never been declared that there was made an exception because of me. Also that I, as the police said, “insisted on picking up my driver’s license”, sounds more than tendentious, because everything there is, is a choice to either pick it up or have it delivered to you.
Here’s a little analysis of a friend of mine which I got a few hours ago:
The police’ excuse is a lie which can be proved by lots of facts:
– first of all on the brochure, which you even posted on your website, it is clearly declared that any kind of headgear is not allowed. There is even a crossed out picture of a woman wearing a hat.
On a brochure published by the government itself, the citizen really shouldn’t be concerned about its regularity. There is even a photo of the minister on it, including his very own signature.
– today’s hint, as stated by the police, that everything can be worn as long as the face is visible only refers to headgear caused by religious beliefs. Every other kind of headgear is explicitly disallowed.
– “Manfred Reinthaler, the press spokesman of the Vienna Police Department officially stated in an interview with religion.orf.at: “the one and only criteria for the photo on the driver’s license is that the face hast to be recognizable”. But as a matter of fact the regulations for the driver’s license are in no way consistent with those of an European passport.”
So if the police department announced that the brochure was factually incorrect, we’d have another scandal. In this case the department admits that religious people have privileges which aren’t even legally covered. This would be a concrete example of privileged religious people being above the law.
– However the police’ spokesman obviously lacks information given by the Ministry of Transport since his statements differ from those of the ministry which says: “you have to bring along the following documents to get your new driver’slicense:…
On this homepage the following regulations can be found which also apply for the driver’s license, as told by the Ministry Of Transport:
“Headgear is not allowed. Exceptions out of religious beliefs are acceptable. In this case the face has to be recognizable from chin to forehead. No shadows may occur on the face.” (i>www.passbildkriterien.at)
However this information is not consistent with the law (https://www.ris.bka.gv.at):
There is only written in §2 (1), 1. Paragraph, digit h) :
“A photograp that must have between 36 and 45 mm height and between 28 and 35 mm width. The head has to be recognizable and fully pictured”.
Maybe somebody, for example the already mentioned spokesman or the Ministry of Transport, would like to explain why they keep publishing different information about regulations regarding the photographs on the driver’s license, respectively why the Ministry of Transport imposts conditions which are not covered by law and therefore handicap non-religious people.
– Furthermore the police’ explanation can be declared as an excuse because they sent you to the medical officer. Of course the only reason why you had to do this, was because of your headgear.
If every headgear was allowed, they wouldn’t be sending everybody to the medical officer who wears a hat.