Press Releases

CAIR Helps OH Muslims Obtain Driver Photos with Hijab


(CINCINNATI, OH, 7/12/2007) – The Cincinnati office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Ohio chapter (CAIR-Ohio) announced today that two Muslim women in that city were able to have driver’s license photographs retaken with their Islamic headscarves, or hijab, after initially being asked to remove the scarves.

CAIR says Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) employees had insisted that the women remove their headscarves for their driver’s license photographs despite regulations requiring an exemption for religious head coverings.

According to a 2004 CAIR study of such policies nationwide, Ohio grants exemptions for 1) wigs or hairpieces if customarily worn by the applicant, 2) a head covering worn for recognized religious purposes, or 3) a head covering worn in conjunction with recognized medical treatments.

SEE: Most States Allow Muslim Scarves in Driver Photos (CAIR)

CAIR-Ohio’s Cincinnati office contacted the BMV and arranged for the photographs of the two women to be retaken free of charge. BMV authorities also sent a reminder to all deputy registrar offices about the exemption for religious head coverings.

“We thank BMV officials for handling this issue in a timely and professional manner,” said Karen Dabdoub, executive director of CAIR-Ohio’s Cincinnati office.

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group, has 33 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

CONTACT: Karen Dabdoub, Tel: 513-281-8200, E-Mail:; Zeinab Schwen, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail:


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