VIENNA, July 18 (UPI) -- An Austrian man who is a member of the Pastafarian faith has won the right to wear a plastic colander on his head in official photos.
Niko Alm applied to be able to wear the colander in his driver's license photo on the grounds that the plastic headpiece should be counted as "religious headgear."
Alm claims to be a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, although he admits that he's an atheist.
According to the CFSM's website, "Pastafarianism is a real religion," and its members are "fond of beer," believe "every Friday is a religious holiday" and "embrace contradictions."
Although Alm reportedly counted the license photo as a victory for Pastafarians everywhere, Austrian officials claim the strainer shot was approved because of non-religious reasons.
"The photo was not approved on religious grounds. The only criterion for photos in driving license applications is that the whole face must be visible," Manfred Reinthaler, a police spokesman in Vienna, told the BBC.