Good News: NJ Banks Remove Posters Banning Hijab

(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 10/4/2013) — Following intervention by the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ), Century Savings Bank officials say they have removed posters announcing a policy banning “hats, hoods, headgear, and sunglasses” for security purposes.

The posters had an image of a woman wearing hijab (head scarf), along with images of a woman in sunglasses, a man in a hard-hat, and a man wearing a cap.

Yesterday, CAIR-NJ asked the bank to review that “inappropriate and discriminatory” policy that would impact Muslim women wearing scarves, observant Sikh and Jewish men who wear turbans and yarmulkes respectively, and would logically be applied to Orthodox Jewish women who often wear wigs for religious reasons or Catholic nuns who wear habits.

“We thank Century Savings Bank for taking prompt action to avoid the appearance that they discriminate against those who wear certain attire for religious reasons,” said CAIR New Jersey Civil Rights Director Khurrum Ali

Ali said CAIR-NJ will work with bank officials to craft a policy that ensures both security and religious freedom.

Bishop defends missionary efforts towards Muslims

The Bishop of Lichfield has stepped into the debate about whether the Church should seek to convert Muslims by defending the church’s missionary approach to Islam. The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, in a pastoral letter in parish magazines throughout Staffordshire, the northern half of Shropshire and most of the Black Country, said the Church had nothing to fear by recognising that Islam too is a missionary faith. “Both Christianity and Islam are missionary faiths. That means that each understands that the other has a message to convey to the world,” he said. “Muslims do not respect Christians who compromise their faith or water down their belief in the uniqueness of Christ. “A fundamental plank of a free society is the freedom to argue for one’s beliefs and to seek to persuade others. “Just as important is the freedom to change one’s religion (‘be converted’) and to change it again.” He stressed, however, that the decision to change religion must be taken freely, saying: “Any coercion is to be avoided.” He added: “Part of that will be to learn about the Muslim religion and to show respect for Muslim communities. Part of neighbourliness will be to share our Good News with them.” Next month, bishops, clergy and laity from the Diocese of Lichfield will join with their partners from Malaysia, South Africa, Canada and Germany, to discuss “Mission and the challenge of Islam”.

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Bishop defends missionary efforts towards Muslims

The Bishop of Lichfield has stepped into the debate about whether the Church should seek to convert Muslims by defending the church’s missionary approach to Islam. The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, in a pastoral letter in parish magazines throughout Staffordshire, the northern half of Shropshire and most of the Black Country, said the Church had nothing to fear by recognising that Islam too is a missionary faith. “Both Christianity and Islam are missionary faiths. That means that each understands that the other has a message to convey to the world,” he said. “Muslims do not respect Christians who compromise their faith or water down their belief in the uniqueness of Christ. “A fundamental plank of a free society is the freedom to argue for one’s beliefs and to seek to persuade others. “Just as important is the freedom to change one’s religion (_be converted’) and to change it again.” He stressed, however, that the decision to change religion must be taken freely, saying: “Any coercion is to be avoided.” He added: “Part of that will be to learn about the Muslim religion and to show respect for Muslim communities. Part of neighbourliness will be to share our Good News with them.” Next month, bishops, clergy and laity from the Diocese of Lichfield will join with their partners from Malaysia, South Africa, Canada and Germany, to discuss “Mission and the challenge of Islam”.