Pastafarian wins right to wear sieve
An Austrian man has won the right to be shown wearing a pasta strainer as religious headgear on his driver's licence.
Niko Alm said the sieve was a requirement of his 'pastafarianism' religion, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Self-confessed atheist Alm first applied for the licence in 2008 after discovering that headgear was allowed in official pictures only for 'confessional' reasons.
After receiving his application, Austrian authorities reportedly required him to obtain a doctor's certificate that he was "psychologically fit" to drive. After three years the licence is now in Mr Alm's possession.
A police spokesman said the licence had been issued because Mr Alm's face was fully visible in the photo.
"The photo was not approved on religious grounds. The only criterion for photos in driving licence applications is that the whole face must be visible," said Manfred Reinthaler.
When asked for his reaction to Mr Reinthaler's comments, Mr Alm told broadcaster ORF: "I didn't know I was guilty of not collecting it. That doesn't alter the fact that it still took nearly a year."
The entrepreneur now wants the tongue-in-cheek, US-based faith to become an officially recognised faith in Austria.
The group's website states that "the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma".
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