Wednesday, March 26, 2008

When Religious Covering Is/Is Not Allowed

Driver pulled from bus over head covering -

This time, it's a man. Apparently he went through training without needing a covering, but after getting the job, decided that his religion required his head to be covered. He was removed from his job.

I do not know this man's motivation. But it makes me wonder if we, as religious people, sometimes want to get into situations that require us to break our laws, to be like everyone else, maybe. And then we feel guilty and try to impose our personal beliefs on others, who accepted us, really, on the grounds that we did not have those convictions. I honestly feel for the honesty of those who are not religious spiritually, but are "religious" in the way that they do indeed have norms and expectations of behaviour. Do we treat others the way we would like to be treated?

Muslim Group Seeks Medical, Religious Rights for Virginia Detainee -

WASHINGTON, March 25 --
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on state and federal authorities to investigate whether a Muslim woman facing deportation in Virginia is being denied proper medical treatment and the right to wear religiously-mandated attire.

According to the Muslim detainee's family, she has been denied the right to wear an Islamic headscarf (hijab) and is not receiving adequate medical care for renal, liver and mental health problems that require immediate treatment. She is being held at Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Va., pending deportation to Ethiopia.

It is to be assumed that the rights of this woman have already been denied in this case, though the article does only present the council's investigation, but not whether this had actually happened. I am amazed that there is still any place in the US where people do not understand that many Muslim women prefer to wear a head covering, out of modesty and in deference to their religious beliefs. Or that she would have indeed been denied medical care. On the off chance that I am too optimistic and there are those still in places of importance who don't understand these things, I agree with the council that some education is needed.
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