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CU System
Another Muslim woman protests head scarf policy
WASHINGTON (3/11/09)--A Muslim woman was asked Saturday to leave the line at a credit union in Southern Maryland and conduct her financial business in a backroom because the Islamic scarf she wore violated the branch's new "no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses" policy. Kenza Shelley, 54, said the request is the second time within a month she had been asked to leave the line at the credit union, a branch of Vienna, Va.-based Navy FCU. The first time she complied but asked if she would have to go through the same process every time she made a transaction (The Washington Post March 10). On Saturday, she refused, saying she wanted to be served like everyone else, according to the article. She then left the credit union and called the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group, which maintains the policy is unconstitutional. The Maryland incident is the second incident within a month involving a woman wearing an Islamic scarf for religious reasons at a branch of the credit union. In February, a similar incident at a Mission, Calif.-based branch of the same credit union occurred, with another woman, Amal Hersi, complaining she felt singled out. The credit union investigated and issued an apology. The no-hats policy is increasingly popular among credit unions and other financial institutions. It also has been encouraged by law enforcement authorities in several states as a measure to thwart robberies and identity theft. Often robbers wear hats, hoods and sunglasses to disguise themselves. Making them remove the articles before they enter for business would act as a deterrent because they could be identified.


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