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CAIR: Okla. Muslim Told She Needs Bank Escort Because of Hijab

Muslim civil rights group asks Tulsa bank to review discriminatory 'no hats' policy

OKLAHOMA CITY, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on Tulsa's Valley National Bank to review its "inappropriate and discriminatory" policy that treats customers wearing religious head coverings differently than other patrons.

CAIR-OK said a Muslim customer at a Valley National Bank branch in Tulsa reported that she was singled out by bank officials because of her religiously-mandated head scarf, or hijab.

The Muslim customer was allegedly told she would not be able to enter the bank unless accompanied by a bank employee to and from the teller because of a "no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses" policy.

Valley National Bank has confirmed in a letter to CAIR-OK that it is their policy to single out women who wear a head scarf, whether for religious reasons or otherwise.

"Singling out Muslim women or other people of faith who wear religiously-mandated head coverings that do not hinder identification is inappropriate and discriminatory," said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani. "All customers should be treated equally regardless of their faith or religious practices."

Soltani said the bank's policy on head coverings would also impact Sikh and Jewish men who wear turbans and yarmulkes, and would logically be applied to Orthodox Jewish women who often wear wigs for religious reasons or Catholic nuns who wear habits.

CAIR-OK is calling on Valley National Bank to review its "no hats" policy and to make adjustments as necessary to ensure Muslim women and individuals of all faith groups are made to feel welcome as customers.

CAIR helped resolve a number of similar incidents nationwide in which Muslim customers wearing hijab have been harassed or denied service because of "no hats" policies being implemented in banks nationwide.

SEE: 'No Hats, No Hoods, No Sunglasses'
http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/38239234.html
Muslim Woman Denied Service Over Head Scarf to Get Apology
http://tinyurl.com/bn9jpt
Calif. Muslim Claims Bank Singled Her Out for Head Scarf (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kycXXQ8WyXU
Md. Credit Union Regrets Muslim Woman's Treatment (Video)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onoNCK-WVZg  

CAIR also offers a booklet called "An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices" to help corporate managers gain a better understanding of Islam and Muslims.

SEE: An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices
http://www.cair.com/Portals/0/pdf/employment_guide.pdf

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Become a fan of CAIR-Oklahoma on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/cairoklahoma
Follow CAIR-Oklahoma on Twitter
http://twitter.com/cairoklahoma
Subscribe to CAIR-Oklahoma's YouTube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/cairoklahoma

CONTACT: CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, E-mail: asoltani@cair.com; CAIR-OK Operations Coordinator Jenell Mapp-Maynard, 405-415-6851, E-mail: jmaynard@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair.com

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations

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Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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