Navy Federal Credit Union apologized today to a Muslim woman who was asked to leave her place in line and be served in a back room at a branch in Southern Maryland because the head scarf she wore for religious reasons violated the institution's "no hats, hoods or sunglasses" policy, authorities said.
The credit union's senior vice president for security called Kenza Shelley, 54, of Lexington Park, to apologize for the incident that occurred Saturday, said Mary McDuffie, a spokeswoman for Navy Federal. She stopped short of calling the incident a mistake, but said the credit union's new security policy should have allowed Shelley to be served by tellers at the front counter.
The religious scarf Shelley wore, McDuffie said, left her clearly identifiable, and the credit union's policy does not prohibit religious head gear. "This is a new policy for us . . . and we are in the process of training all our employees," McDuffie said. "We regret that this took place." . . .
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said his group sought a meeting with Navy Federal officials after the incident in hopes that they would revise their policy. (MORE)