Press Releases

MD Muslim Allowed Islamic Scarf in ID Photo


CAIR's recently issued Report: Religious Accommodation in Driver's License Photographs: A Review of Codes, Policies and Practices in the 50 States
CAIR’s recently issued Report:
Religious Accommodation in Driver’s
License Photographs: A Review of Codes,
Policies and Practices in the 50 States

(BETHESDA, MD, 12/21/04) The Maryland and Virginia office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MD/VA) today announced that a Muslim woman in Maryland will be allowed to wear her Islamic head scarf in an identification card photograph. The woman had previously been told she had
to remove her religiously-mandated scarf.

The Muslim woman told CAIR-MD/VA she was ordered to take off her scarf for an ID photograph at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) in Frederick, despite her insistence that it was against her religious beliefs and in spite of an MVA policy allowing religious head coverings.

After being approached by the Islamic Society of Frederick, CAIR-MD/VA contacted MVA officials, who then took prompt action to resolve the issue.

“We thank the MVA for its swift action in helping to resolve this case,” said CAIR-MD/VA Executive Director Rizwan Mowlana. “Muslims in Maryland should know that their religious practices will be accommodated.”

Mowlana said CAIR-MD/VA was also invited to submit an Islamic sensitivity training proposal for MVA employees.

CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 30 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
Its mission is to enhance 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: CONTACT: CAIR-MD/VA, Rizwan Mowlana, 301-986-1900, 301-672-9355;
CAIR-National, Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-MAIL:;
Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:


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