(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/21/04) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today issued a nationwide review of religious accommodation in requirements for driver’s license photographs.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says the report, titled “Religious Accommodation in Driver’s License Photographs: A Review of Codes, Policies and Practices in the 50 States,” was prompted by complaints from Muslim women drivers who faced difficulties wearing Islamic head scarves in license photographs. Click here (http://www.cair-net.org/downloads/driversphoto.pdf) to read the report
According to CAIR’s review, most states, with the exception of Georgia, Kentucky and New Hampshire, have addressed religious accommodation concerns. Five states – Arkansas, Mississippi, Kansas, Missouri, and Maine – recognize some religious practices, while the other 42 states have adopted more inclusive approaches to religious accommodation policies.
The CAIR study recommended review of driver’s license photograph
requirements in those states that do not permit religious accommodation or
have policies that need to be clarified.
“Muslims are not alone in being impacted by driver’s license photograph
policies,” said Dr. Mohamed Nimer, the report’s author. “Members of the
Christian, Sikh and Jewish communities also face issues related to
religiously-mandated head coverings or other religious practices.”
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 29 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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