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CAIR-CT Conducts DMV Sensitivity Training

(WATERBURY, CT, 6/24/05) – The Connecticut office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CT) conducted a religious sensitivity training workshop on Wednesday for managers and supervisors from the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and members of law enforcement. CAIR-CT’s presentation, entitled “Islam 101,” included information on Islamic beliefs and practices. It also provided guidelines on how to accommodate Muslims in the workplace and make them feel more comfortable about reporting cases of religious discrimination. The meeting was prompted by an incident in which a Connecticut Muslim woman was initially denied the right to wear her Islamic headscarf in a driver’s license photograph. After discussions between CAIR-CT and DMV officials, the woman was permitted to have her photograph taken with the religiously-mandated scarf. (Connecticut law permits religious head-coverings in driver’s license photos. The applicant must sign an oath attesting to the religious requirement.)

“We were very pleased by the positive attitude expressed by all participants in the workshop,” said CAIR-CT Executive Director Badr Malik. “It was a great opportunity to erase many misconceptions people have about Islam.” CAIR-CT’s Director of Civil Rights Hamza Collins and Director of Community Outreach Farah Refai also took part in Wednesday’s training session. Last year, CAIR issued a nationwide review of religious accommodation in requirements for driver’s license photographs. The report, titled “Religious Accommodation in Driver’s License Photographs: A Review of Codes, Policies and Practices in the 50 States,” was prompted by complaints from Muslim women drivers who faced difficulties wearing Islamic head scarves in license photographs. The full report may be obtained at: http://www.cair-net.org/downloads/driversphoto.pdf

CONTACT: CAIR-CT Director of Civil Rights Hamza Collins, 860-995-6628, E-Mail: civilrights@cair-ct.com

 

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