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Georgia: Muslim Female Correctional Officer Prohibited From Wearing Hijab

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Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 19, 2019 at 4:19am

Please join us in calling on the State of Georgia to reverse its unconstitutional decision to ban an American Muslim woman from wearing a hijab at work. 

Earlier this year, the Georgia Department of Corrections forced Ms. Jalanda Calhoun, a state correctional officer, to stop wearing her religious hair scarf under threat of termination. Why? The Department insists that its "grooming standards" require female employees to show their earlobes, that wearing a hijab could somehow make it easier for a male inmate to "escape," and that a hijab could be used to conceal "contraband."

None of these reasons make much sense, and all of them are solvable issues. Furthermore, the Department could use the same faulty reasoning to ban Sikhs, Jews, and other religious groups from covering their hair.

“Both my job and my religion are very important to me. I never thought I would have to choose between the two. I know what God has asked me to do, and what the U.S. Constitution allows me to do. My hope is that as a government agency, the Georgia Department of Corrections will do the right thing.” -Correctional Officer Jalanda Calhoun.

"If you are a Muslim woman who wears a hijab, a Sikh man who wears a turban, an Orthodox Jew who wears a kippah, you can serve in the U.S. military while wearing your religious clothing. You can patrol the streets of the city as a police officer. You can perform heart surgery. You can fly a plane. You can do any number of things, but according to the state of Georgia, you cannot wear your religious clothing while you work in the Department of Corrections.” -Edward Ahmed Mitchell, Executive Director of CAIR-Georgia

The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, has filed a discrimination complaint against the state on behalf of Ms. Calhoun. However, a legal victory could be months away.

Governor Brian Kemp, who has described himself as a strong supporter of religious liberty, can solve this problem today by ordering all state agencies to permit employees to wear basic religious clothing such as Islamic hijabs, Jewish kippas, and Sikh turbans.

We respectfully call on Governor Kemp to intervene, overturn the Department's decision, and require all state agencies to uphold the Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom.

****If Change offers you the chance to chip in $2 to help meet the signature goal after you sign, please disregard that request. You can visit www.cairgeorgia.com if you'd like to make a donation to support our civil rights work.****

Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 19, 2019 at 7:17pm
Sign Our Petition!
SIGN OUR PETITION: LIFT THE HIJAB BAN!
All praise and thanks belong to God, the Lord of the Worlds,
May peace and prayers be upon Prophet Muhammad and his family.

Asalaamu alaykum Friends & Supporters:

Please sign this petition calling on the State of Georgia to reverse its illegal decision to ban an American Muslim woman from wearing a hijab at work. 

“Both my job and my religion are very important to me. I never thought I would have to choose between the two. I know what God has asked me to do, and what the U.S. Constitution allows me to do. My hope is that as a government agency, the Georgia Department of Corrections will do the right thing.” Correctional Officer Jalanda Calhoun

Earlier this year, the Georgia Department of Corrections forced Officer Calhoun, a state correctional officer, to stop wearing her religious hair scarf under threat of termination. 

CAIR Georgia has filed a discrimination complaint against the state on behalf of Ms. Calhoun. However, a legal victory could be months away.

Governor Brian Kemp, who has described himself as a strong supporter of religious liberty, can solve this problem today by ordering all state agencies to permit employees to wear basic religious clothing such as Islamic hijabs, Jewish kippas, and Sikh turbans.

Please co-sign our petition to respectfully call on Governor Kemp to intervene, overturn the Department's decision, and require all state agencies to uphold the Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom.

Thank you for your support!

With thanks,

Edward Ahmed Mitchell
Executive Director
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Georgia Chapter
www.cairgeorgia.com

MAKE A DONATION TODAY!
Comment by Bilal Mahmud المكافح المخلص on May 23, 2019 at 5:45pm

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