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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Muslim staff given branded hijab
Ikea store
Ikea was founded in Sweden in 1943
Muslim staff at Ikea's north London branch wanting to wear a headscarf to keep in with their faith have been given a hijab bearing the firm's logo.

The headscarf is in the Swedish furniture store's navy blue and yellow colour and has been given to staff working at the Edmonton branch.

An Ikea spokeswoman said management came up with the idea to accommodate workers wanting to wear a hijab.

The Muslim council of Britain (MCB) has welcomed the idea.

"We haven't heard of any other company doing this kind of thing before. Each of our stores runs itself, so they will decide whether to offer the option to employees," the Ikea spokeswoman said.

'Customised headgear'

The hijab, which has been designed to fit in with the rest of the uniform, has the firm's logo sewn into the back.

The first piece of the hijab acts as a cap covering the head, and the second fits over the cap to cover the neck, shoulder, and chest area.

A thin yellow line borders the top of the cap and the edge of the bottom part of the hijab.

Managers at the Edmonton branch approached specialist designers to create the customised headgear.

We commend Ikea for addressing the cultural and religious needs of its employees
The Muslim Council of Britain's Ibrahim Mogra

They specified that the garment must be comfortable for employees to wear, with no flowing material or pins for health and safety reasons, but that it also adhered to Islamic requirements.

The Ikea spokeswoman said the initiative has been open to employees who want to wear the scarf since the store opened in February this year.

Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, chairman of the mosque and community affairs committee of the MCB, told BBC News: "We commend Ikea for addressing the cultural and religious needs of its employees.

"The colour is not an issue in the hijab and as long as the logo is not all over it, Muslims will not have a problem with this."

The Ikea furniture store was founded in Sweden in 1943.

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