Austrian Man Wins Right To Wear Pasta Strainer In License Photo

by Eyder Peralta

Niko Alm's driver's license.

Niko AlmNiko Alm’s driver’s license.

In Austria one of the strangest fights for religious freedom has come to an end: Niko Alm, a self-described “Pastafarian,” fought for three years for the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head in his driver’s license photo.

His argument? Alm claimed he belonged to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and wearing the strainer was part of his religion.

The BBC reports:

Mr Alm’s pastafarian-style application for a driving licence was a response to the Austrian recognition of confessional headgear in official photographs.

The licence took three years to come through and, according to Mr. Alm, he was asked to submit to a medical interview to check on his mental fitness to drive but – straining credulity – his efforts have finally paid off.

It is the police who issue driving licences in Austria, and they have duly issued a laminated card showing Mr. Alm in his unorthodox item of religious headgear.

Niko Alm's original pictures.

Niko AlmNiko Alm’s original pictures.

The AFP reports that Alm now wants to apply for “Pastafarianism to become an officially recognised faith in Austria.”

If you want more, Alm detailed his fight on his blog. (We’ve linked to Google’s English translation of it.)

Update On July 15 at 2:09 p.m. ET. Interview With Alm:

Just a note to say we’ve added a post with our interview with Alm.


Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use. See also the Community FAQ.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login / Register

Post this comment to Facebook, too?

NPR reserves the right to read on the air and/or publish on its website or in any medium now known or unknown the e-mails and letters that we receive. We may edit them for clarity or brevity and identify authors by name and location. For additional information, please consult our Terms of Use.

sarah lily (sarahlily)

sarah lily (sarahlily) wrote:

F yeah! If all those uptight d-bags get to intimidate women trying to get familty planning help because of their fake god, why not this guy?

Sun Jul 17 15:20:37 2011

Broderick Blocker (Buzzardking)

Broderick Blocker (Buzzardking) wrote:

So relieved it’s not an American being embarrassing this time.

Sun Jul 17 14:44:41 2011

Thomas Capetanelis (thomcap)

Thomas Capetanelis (thomcap) wrote:

haha, the flying spaghetti monster really puts mainstream religions in perspective.

evolution is an elaborate hoax meant to undermine ancient fairytales misinterpreted as truth makes a lot more sense.

Sun Jul 17 14:19:29 2011

L. Waters (Lencho)

L. Waters (Lencho) wrote:
This comment was removed because it was abducted by The flying Spaghetti Monster.

Sun Jul 17 13:17:27 2011

judith sanders (multiple_arcoms)

judith sanders (multiple_arcoms) wrote:

For those who are moved to learn more about this faith, please see The Church of the flying Spaghetti Monster, at
Learn about sightings of the FSM, the afterlife he promises (featuring a beer volcano,) noodly evangelism, and the always delicious hate mail.
This week: Did eyes evolve from meatballs?

Sun Jul 17 11:55:58 2011

Erin Smith (elbi_arabiyya)

Erin Smith (elbi_arabiyya) wrote:

Thank goodness this brave soldier was willing to go the extra mile to prove his point. Ahh, first world problems.

Sun Jul 17 10:55:48 2011

Jocta Anoracle (Jocta)

Jocta Anoracle (Jocta) wrote:

This comment has been removed because it did not meet the Community Discussion Rules.

Sun Jul 17 10:44:07 2011

dave posmontier (davidella)

dave posmontier (davidella) wrote:

I have learned much from the Pastafarians. For instance, there is an inverse relationship between the number of pirates in the world and the rise of glabal warming. I think it is fair to conclude that the decline of the pirate population causes global warming.

Sun Jul 17 10:27:43 2011



He made me see the light. How can I become a Pastafarian? I love pasta. His faith must be real to have the authorities bend to the will of a Pastafarian. Is heaven a good spaghetti sauce? Is God a noodle? Is god called pasta or noodle? Who is the spiritual leader? So much left out of the article.

Sun Jul 17 10:19:21 2011

Donald May (Mustard)

Donald May (Mustard) wrote:

Clearly, this young man has no interest in any comments we might make here. Good for him. Backbone against public opinion is an asset.

Sun Jul 17 10:04:55 2011

View all comments (359)»


About masterkan

Louis Sheehan
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s