(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/18/16) â€“ The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on Security National Bank in Omaha, Neb., to change its policy to protect the religious rights of Muslim women customers who wear Islamic head scarves, or hijab.
CAIR made that request after an incident in which bank employees demanded that a Muslim woman remove her hijab before entering the building to open an account Tuesday, and continued to deny her service even after she removed the religious head covering. The bank later apologized, but repeated it policy against â€œall face, eye and head coverings.â€
â€œBased on our experience working with financial institutions following past incidents of this type, we know it is possible for bank officials to craft policies that ensure both security and constitutionally-protected religious freedom,â€ said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
In 2013, following intervention by CAIRâ€™s New Jersey chapter, Century Savings Bank removed posters announcing a policy banning “hats, hoods, headgear, and sunglasses” for security purposes.
In 2014, CAIRâ€™s Michigan chapter and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee-Michigan (ADC-MI) today announced the filing of a federal lawsuit against Advance America Cash Advance (Advance America) for denying a Muslim and Arab-American woman money order services because of her hijab.Â
CAIR has helped resolve a number of similar incidents nationwide in which Muslim customers wearing hijab have been harassed or denied service because of “no hats” policies implemented by banks nationwide.
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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 National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org