NEW YORK, May 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC is calling on Lt. Gen. John Rosa, USAF (ret), president of The Citadel, to consider reversing the decision to bar a newly admitted Muslim student from wearing her hijab head covering.
"Commitment to religious diversity is an important element in educating our country's youth for future leadership," said Robert Silverman, AJC's U.S. Director of Muslim-Jewish Relations. "The Citadel should reverse its hijab ban as part of its commitment to preparing its students for leadership positions in military service and civilian careers."
AJC has long opposed religious discrimination. Last year, AJC welcomed a U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit filed on behalf of a Muslim woman, Samantha Elauf, who was denied employment in an Abercrombie & Fitch store because she wears a hijab. AJC, which had joined in an amicus brief, called the decision "a welcome reminder that in America, Muslims, as well as other believers, do not have to leave their religious beliefs at home."
Such religious accommodation is enshrined in U.S. law. The National Defense Authorization Act of 1988 states that "a member of the armed forces may wear an item of religious apparel while wearing the uniform of the member's armed force." The legislation resulted from the case of a Jewish U.S. Air Force officer's desire to wear a yarmulke, which AJC supported in an amicus brief.
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee