Alabama discriminate against non-Muslim women who wear head scarves

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Yvonne Allen in a photograph included in the lawsuit filed against officials in Lee County, Ala. (American Civil Liberties Union)

Now I may not like all the concessions the West give to followers of Islam but I always assumed that at least the West would be consistent. If they upheld the religious freedom of a Muslim woman to wear a Hijab at work then, of course, they would not object to a Sikh wearing a turban because fair is fair right? Wrong. In Alabama, Muslim women get preferential treatment. There is one law for non-Muslim women and another law for Muslim women.

From the complaint in Allen v. English:

Plaintiff Yvonne Allen is a devout Christian woman who covers her hair with a headscarf as part of her religious practice. In December 2015, Ms. Allen sought to renew her driver license at the Lee County driver license office, where officials demanded that she remove her head covering to be photographed. When Ms. Allen explained her religious beliefs, the County officials responded with a remarkable claim: They admitted that there was a religious accommodation available for head coverings, but contended that it applied only to Muslims.

…Lee County’s refusal to grant Allen a religious accommodation contradicts state rules and violates her rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Alabama Constitution, according to the lawsuit.

“The county’s interpretation of state rules blatantly violates the First Amendment,” said Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama. “The government cannot discriminate between faiths in granting religious accommodations.”

…The Constitution protects both Christians and Muslims and, indeed, people of all faiths.”

Sounds right to me. The First Amendment doesn’t generally require government to give religious exemptions from generally applicable laws (such as requirements that people have driver’s licenses that show them bareheaded) — but when the government does grant religious exemptions, it generally can’t grant the exemption to members of one religion and then deny the same exemption to members of other religions.

 

-jihadwatch.org

 


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