Oklahoma anti-hijab bill dismissed, citing its confliction with religious freedoms

The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations CAIR) has joined other groups concerning the constitutionally protected right to religious freedom, and an Oklahoma bill that bans religious headwear in driver’s licenses and other photo identification cards.

The bill passed in Oklahoma in March, however, the Oklahoma legislature dropped the proposed bill citing its confliction with permitted religious exemption and constituents said that the bill violated their First Amendment rights. “We thank Oklahoma lawmakers for their leadership and courage in standing up for religious pluralism and the First Amendment,” Razi Hashmi, CAIR-Oklahoma executive director, said in a statement issued Tuesday. Some 600 letters opposing the draft legislation were sent to lawmakers by Oklahomans of all faiths, including Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, and Catholics.

Religious bias complaint filed over store hiring

A teenage Muslim girl filed a complaint against a store at Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Woodland Hills Mall, for refusing to hire her because she wears a headscarf. The girl says that a district manager for Abercrombie & Fitch told her that the religious garment doesn’t fit the retail chain’s image. CAIR helped the girl file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and asked the store to apologize to the girl. “Employers have a clear legal duty to accommodate the religious practices of their workers,” said Razi Hashmi, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Oklahoma. “To deny someone employment because of apparent religious bias goes against long-standing American traditions of tolerance and inclusion.”