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CAIR Asks D.C. Metro to Explain Removal of Muslim Woman Train Operator

Comstock takes ride on Silver Line(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/13/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, has called on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) to explain why a Muslim woman driver who wears an Islamic head covering (hijab) was prevented from operating her train with a group of political VIPs as passengers.

According to the Muslim woman operator, the first car of her Silver Line train was commandeered for a media event last Friday featuring VIPs such as Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.).

SEE: Comstock Takes Ride on Silver Line, Discusses Future

Before leaving on her normal schedule, the Muslim operator was reportedly informed by a supervisor that she would not be driving the train and was told to sit in the commandeered compartment while being watched by security personnel. The Muslim driver ultimately burst into tears because of the stress and humiliation she felt.

In her formal union complaint, the Muslim driver wrote: “I have reasons to believe that I have been discriminated against due to my gender and religious preference (Al-Islam).â€

CAIR has contacted Metro and the train operator’s union about the incident. Metro’s director of diversity told CAIR that the incident is being investigated.

“We urge Metro to explain why a qualified train operator would be removed from her post in such circumstances,†said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “Without an adequate explanation of Metro officials’ actions during this incident, the perception exists that the train operator was removed from her post because of her religious attire.â€

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.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,


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