Washington D.C: The nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) welcomed a decision by a South Carolina jail to allow female inmates to wear the “hijab.” The CAIR made the request for a policy change following a complaint from a Muslim woman who was taken into custody recently, and was allegedly told to remove her hijab so she could have her booking photograph taken. The booking officer reportedly disregarded the woman’s religious concerns and “intimidated” her into removing her scarf in the presence of a male officer. The Muslim inmate’s husband was allegedly informed that “all Muslim women take off their scarves” when in custody. In a letter to CAIR, Ronaldo D. Myers, director of the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia, S.C., wrote: “As requested, we have reviewed and updated our policies to ensure clarity with our staff on the processing and searching of female detainees of the Muslim faith, and specifically have exempted the wearing of religious headwear from our facility’s ‘Prohibited Acts’ policy.” “We welcome the detention center’s decision to allow detainees to exercise their constitutionally-protected religious freedom,” said CAIR National Legal Director Nadhira Al-Khalili.
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