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CAIR-NY Helps Reaffirm Right to Hijab in DMV Photos


(NEW YORK, NY, 07/22/07) – The New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) announced today that it has successfully reaffirmed the right of Muslim women in that state to wear hijab, or Islamic headscarves, in their driver’s license photographs.

Following a resolved incident in Beacon, officials at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are sending letters of reminder to offices throughout New York regarding head coverings and their approved use in driver’s license photographs pursuant to the state’s religious accommodation policies.

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

The reminder was prompted by an incident in which a Muslim woman wearing hijab was refused the right to a new driver’s license photograph unless she removed her headscarf.

The woman succeeded in having her application processed the second time she visited the DMV office after she provided documentation from CAIR that referenced the DMV’s Commissioner Regulations.

“The incident in Beacon shows that quicker resolutions result from knowing your rights and being prepared to defend them,” said Aliya Latif, CAIR-NY’s Civil Rights Coordinator. “We applaud the DMV for its readiness to reaffirm the rights of Muslim women and all those who choose to wear head coverings for religious reasons.”

CAIR chapters in California and Ohio recently announced similar successes in gaining religious rights for Muslim drivers.

SEE: CAIR Helps OH Muslims Obtain Driver Photos with Hijab

CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties 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: CAIR-NY Civil Rights Coordinator Aliya Latif, (212) 870-2002,


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