The Myth: The Passport Service ‘banned’ a 5 year old girl’s passport photo because her shoulders were showing, and it might offend Muslims.
The Truth: There is no such rule against shoulders in passport photos. This was a mistake made by the cashier at the Post Office.
Here is a balanced report from The Metro, a newspaper which due to its free distribution, has less interest in pandering to an audience of paranoid racists (despite being a sister publication of the Daily Mail):
The Post Office and the Passport Office have both denied that they have any policy of rejecting passport photos featuring bare arms, after a five year old girl’s mother claimed that she was told her daughter’s picture would be rejected for fear of offending Muslims.
Jane Edwards says that she was told by a post office clerk that the photo of her daughter Hannah would probably be rejected, because she was wearing a sleeveless dress that exposed her shoulders, which she said might not be acceptable in a Muslim country.
Mrs Edwards says she was forced to spend two hours getting new photos taken and forms signed.
However, the Passport Office said that they had no such policy: ‘This picture should have been absolutely fine,’ a spokesman said.
And the Post Office also denied that their guidelines ruled out sleeveless tops.
‘Our offices have a Passport Office template which says what the photograph should and shouldn’t be,’ said a spokesman.
‘Bare shoulders don’t come into that at all. All we can do is apologise to Mrs Edwards. It was clearly a mistake made by the clerk. We will take it up with that particular office.’
…and here is a response from the same story:
“It is absolutely ridiculous that UK Muslims in postal shops believe that exposing shoulders on a young girl equates to immodesty and moral decay.
How dare UK Muslims impose their backwards Muslim norms on British society.”
– Jonathan – Jihad Watch comment
Followed by this….
[sic]”If we don’t make a fuss, we can look forward to women having to wear a head covering to get a passport. You give Muslums a inch and they will take a foot.”
– Betty – Prophecy Fellowship comment
And then, of course…
[sic] “thats terrible! pc gone mad! this country is going down the pan! im emigrating”
Overclockers forum user
How to get from admin error to international scandal in two easy moves. Assume Muslims did it, then moan about it.