CAIR-MN Welcomes New Hennepin Co. Policy Allowing Hijabs in Jails, Booking Photos

March 20, 2014

 

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today welcomed a new Hennepin County policy that will allow religious headwear, including hijabs (Islamic head scarves), in jails and booking photos. Hennepin County is the first in the state to create a comprehensive policy on religious headwear.

CAIR-MN received cases recently from Muslim women arrested for unpaid traffic fines, protests and other relatively minor crimes who were denied the hijab in booking photos and provided inadequate religious accommodations in jail.

“We welcome this new policy on religious headwear as another example of Hennepin County showing leadership and setting positive precedents for other counties,” said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Director Saly Abd Alla. “The new religious headwear policies sends a strong message throughout the state that, regardless of who the individual is or what their situation, we must uphold our principles and follow the law.”

Ms. Abd Alla said both federal and state laws prohibit discrimination against incarcerated individuals based upon religion.

CAIR-MN provided Hennepin County with sample policies from county jails around the country to help them develop “policies that allow inmates to follow their religion and still satisfy safety concerns.”

Hennepin County agreed to provide jail-issued hijabs and other religious headgear to individuals who request it.

In 2011, CAIR-MN asked the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office to accommodate a Muslim woman’s religious beliefs and let her wear a hijab in jail. The jail refused and the woman was transferred.

 

Cair.com: http://cair.com/press-center/press-releases/12411-cair-mn-welcomes-new-hennepin-co-policy-allowing-hijabs-in-jails-booking-photos.html

Hijab invites suspicion for woman at Canadian airport, CAIR reports new potential issues to Obama

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) wrote President Obama a letter stating that Muslim women in hijabs may be targeted at airports.

A Muslim woman at Canada’s Halifax Stanfield International Airport was detained for four hours and interrogated harshly. She was boarding a plane to the US to see her husband in Ohio and was denied entry.

In the letter, CAIR President Nihad Awad told Obama he supports efforts to improve security, but pointed out that safety was not improved through profiling tactics.

The Muslim Girl

A magazine for American Muslim teenage girls, The Muslim Girl features include “Muslim Girl of the Month,” fashion tips such as “cool hijabs” and “long dresses for the long days of the summer,” expert advise on issues such as health, relationships, and ethics, profiles of young female athletes, and celebrity interviews. Readers can view partial articles online or subscribe by mail.

Officials in Calgary Allow Hijabs, Saris and Other Religious Clothing at City Pools

Residents of Calgary, Alberta will now be allowed to swim in city pools wearing saris, hijabs and other clothing deemed “religious” in a new policy designed to encourage the participation of ethnic and religious minorities. For safety reasons, saris will be banned from the deep end. The city´s superintendent for aquatics and fitness stated that the policy clarifies what before had been a grey area, typically handled on a case-by-case basis. Ms. Bruce stated, “We wanted to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and they can participate with dignity when they use our facilities.” Clothing must be clean and swimmers must shower in the garments before entering the pool.

Similarly, last winter, the Alberta Soccer Association changed its rules to, like in the provinces of British Colombia and Ontario, allow female soccer players to wear the hijab while playing. The headscarf is banned on Québec soccer fields.

See full-text articles:

The Globe and Mail

The Calgary Herald

Officials in Calgary Allow Hijabs, Saris and Other Religious Clothing at City Pools

Residents of Calgary, Alberta will now be allowed to swim in city pools wearing saris, hijabs and other clothing deemed religious in a new policy designed to encourage the participation of ethnic and religious minorities. For safety reasons, saris will be banned from the deep end. The city’s superintendent for aquatics and fitness stated that the policy clarifies what before had been a grey area, typically handled on a case-by-case basis. Ms. Bruce stated, We wanted to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and they can participate with dignity when they use our facilities. Clothing must be clean and swimmers must shower in the garments before entering the pool. Similarly, last winter, the Alberta Soccer Association changed its rules to, like in the provinces of British Colombia and Ontario, allow female soccer players to wear the hijab while playing. The headscarf is banned on Qu_bec soccer fields.

Hijabs for Life in Canada

CAIRO – Spurred by the ban of hijab-clad girls from taking part in sports competitions, Canadian Muslim Abeer Al-Azzawi is helping her fellow Muslim peers play, work and live with a new hijab fit for everyday life, reported the Ottawa Citizen on Saturday, January 26. “You see stores that cater to all kinds of girls — to rocker girls, girlie girls, sporty girls — but there’s nothing for the hijabi girls,” said Azzawi. “If I can do something to change that, I will.” The 24-year-old engineering grad has established an online company for making hijabs that suit Muslim sports girls.