FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAIR WELCOMES JUSTICE DEPT. SUPPORT FOR RELIGIOUS RIGHTS
DOJ sues New York department of corrections over ban on religious symbols
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/16/07) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today welcomed a decision by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to sue that state’s Department of Correctional Services in support of a prison guard who wears a Muslim “kufi,” or skullcap.
The DOJ lawsuit alleges that the Department of Correctional Services rule barring officers from wearing visible symbols of their faith violates a federal law requiring employers to accommodate the reasonable religious practices of workers.
In response to the DOJ complaint, a spokeswoman for the Department of Correctional Services said policies have been amended to allow such symbols “on a case by case basis.”
“We welcome the Justice Department’s support for reasonable religious accommodation in the workplace,” said CAIR Civil Rights Director Maryam Sayar Akbar. “Workers of all faiths, and in all fields, should be granted the religious rights allowed under the law.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 32 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.
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