Press Releases

CAIR-Ohio Calls on City of Columbus to Allow Hijab for Muslim Women Officers

(COLUMBUS, OH, 5/5/2015) – CAIR-Ohio recently expressed concern about a Muslim American woman recruit at the Columbus Police Academy being forced to leave the Academy as the Police Division does not allow officers to wear head scarves. The Academy refused to give her a religious exemption.

Columbus Police spokeswoman told the Columbus Dispatch that the police division does not allow head scarves to maintain “impartial appearance†and for “safety.â€

SEE: Somali Police Recruit Leaves Class Over Head-Scarf Rule

“The concerns of the Columbus Police Division related to maintaining impartiality and safety can be easily addressed by modifying the color and style of headscarves worn by Muslim women. Similar accommodations have been made by law enforcement agencies in other cities in the United States,†said Romin Iqbal, CAIR-Ohio Staff Attorney.

CAIR-Ohio calls on the City of Columbus to allow for a religious belief based exemption to dress codes in all departments and divisions of City of Columbus. “Both Federal and Ohio law mandate that employers provide reasonable accommodation to the religious needs of employees, including, allowing them to wear articles of faith, like the Muslim hijab, Christian cross, Sikh turban, and the Jewish yarmulke,†said Jennifer Nimer, Legal Director, CAIR-Ohio.

CAIR-Ohio urges the City of Columbus to accommodate the needs of all its religious employees and enact suitable regulations to address these concerns.

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-Ohio Staff Attorney Romin Iqbal at 614 783 7953, riqbal@cair.com

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