July 18, 2019

Driver wins right to wear pasta bowl in licence photo

Niko Alm and his amazing 'officially recognised' pasta strainer.

An Austrian atheist has won the right to be shown wearing a pasta strainer on his drivers licence photo, claiming it is “religious headgear.”

Niko Alm first applied for the licence three years ago after reading that headgear was allowed in official pictures but only for religious reasons.

Mr Alm said the sieve was a requirement of his religion, which he calls pastafarianism.

A police spokesman was desperate not to admit that Niko Alm had won any kind of victory over the ‘system’ by saying “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, a police spokesman in Vienna.

After receiving his application the Austrian authorities had required him to obtain a doctor’s certificate that he was “psychologically fit” to drive.

The idea for the pasta strainer hat was dreamed up my Niko three years ago as a way of making a serious, but ironic, point.

A self-confessed atheist, Mr Alm says he belongs to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a light-hearted, US-based faith whose members call themselves pastafarians.

A medical interview established the self-styled “pastafarian” was mentally fit to drive. The group’s website states that “the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma”.

Niko Alm is now seeking to have the authorities in Austria recognise pastafarianism as an ‘official’ faith.

An athiest who has a religion? Now that is confusing.