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CAIR-NY: Transit Worker Allowed to Attend Islamic Prayers

(NEW YORK, NY, 8/2/07) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) said today that a transit worker in that city will now be allowed to attend Islamic Friday congregational prayers, or “Jummah,” after initially being told he would have to wait months to receive religious accommodation.

CAIR-NY contacted the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) after receiving a complaint from the Muslim employee who said he was scheduled to work during the Friday services despite being told by MTA’s Policy and Compliance Board that he qualified for religious accommodation. He was reportedly informed that he would have to wait six months before his “Sabbath Observance Status” could be changed.

The Islamic civil rights group asked MTA officials to reconsider their decision because the Muslim worker had not had an opportunity to apply for a change in status within the time period designated by the authority’s Sabbath Observance guidelines.

“We thank MTA for its flexibility on this important issue and for preserving the religious rights of its employees,” said CAIR-NY Civil Rights Coordinator Aliya Latif.

Latif said CAIR publishes a booklet, called “An Employer’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” designed to assist in providing legally-mandated reasonable religious accommodation to Muslim employees.

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, Tel: 212-870-2002 or 732-429-4268, E-Mail:


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