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CAIR-Alabama Backs Christian Woman’s Right to Headscarf in License Photo

CAIR logo(BIRMINGHAM, AL, 8/31/2016)—The Alabama Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Alabama) today said a Christian woman in Alabama should be able to wear her headscarf for a driver’s license photo, just as Muslim woman and Sikh men are allowed to wear religious head coverings.

When Yvonne Allen of Tuskegee, Ala., went to renew her license, she was reportedly told to remove the headscarf she wears for religious reasons. She said the clerk told her that only Muslim women are allowed to cover their hair in the license photos. The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama has filed a lawsuit on her behalf.

In 2004, Alabama changed a policy that prohibited the wearing of head scarves and turbans in driver’s license photos. The new policy allowed head coverings for religious and medical reasons.

SEE: Christian Woman Forced to Remove Headscarf for License

“Alabamans of all faiths should have the right to wear religious apparel in driver’s license photos,†said CAIR-Alabama Executive Director Khaula Hadeed. “The right to practice one’s faith is a universal right, one that should not be limited to Muslims and Sikhs.â€

Hadeed noted that CAIR has dealt with the issue of religious head coverings in driver’s license photographs in a number of states.

SEE: Delaware DMV Apologizes to Muslim Over Hijab Incident

In 2004, CAIR issued a report, titled “Religious Accommodation in Driver's License Photographs: A Review of Codes, Policies and Practices in the 50 States,” prompted by complaints from Muslim women drivers who faced difficulties wearing Islamic head scarves in license photographs.

Religious Accommodation in Driver's License Photographs

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Alabama Executive Director Khaula Hadeed, 334-224-2196,khadeed@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,ihooper@cair.com

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