TU Delft bans pastafarian student from attending doctorate ceremony in pirate suit
Doctorate student Michael Afanasyev filed a complaint with the College for Human Rights against TU Delft because the university forbade him to defend is dissertation dressed in a 17th century pirate suit. Pirates are an important part of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which Afanasyev is a priest of, and he therefore feels that TU Delft is discriminating against his religion, the Volkskrant reports.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is active in several countries and is a recognized religion in the Netherlands and New Zealand, according to Wikipedia. Pastafarians consider pirates to be divine beings and believe that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters are all direct consequences to the decreasing number of pirates since 1800.
Afanasyev therefore wanted to attend this important ceremony dressed as a pirate. "Who is TU Delft to determine wat is important to my religion?" he said to the Volkskrant. "It's Delft University of Technology, not Delft University of Theology."
According to TU Delft, receiving a PhD is a solemn, formal academic ceremony with a subdued character that emphasizes the scientific dialogue. "This includes appropriate, formal clothing that makes it possible to indiscriminately evaluate whether the candidate can be awarded the highest academic degree. TU Delft does not find a pirate costume suitable for this occasion", the university said according to the newspaper.
The university added that it allows room for accents from the candidates personal lives, such as a yarmulke or headscarf. "Modest headgear that expresses the the conviction of the person concerned and does justice to the subdued character, we might allow." Whether this includes the colander pastafarians wear, is not clear.