The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) wants female Muslim law enforcement officers across America to be permitted to wear hijabs when they are on duty to protect all citizens of all faiths. So CAIR jumped on the opportunity to publicly criticize the Columbus Ohio Police Department for deciding to continue the ban on head scarves for their officers.
CAIR released the following report on June 23, 2015 around 6 pm:
CAIR-Ohio: Columbus Police Won't Allow Head Scarves for Officers
Woods said police did not talk to anyone in the Muslim community or the city's Community Relations Commission before making the decision.
That disappoints Romin Iqbal, staff attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Ohio chapter.
"I'm baffled and very disappointed that the city continues to not allow a whole population of Columbus to become cops," Iqbal said.
The division's concerns about uniformity of dress, he said, could be easily addressed by modifying the color and style of head scarves worn by Muslim women.
The Ohio Constitution gives people a right to religious expression at work, he added. And the city has to prove it has a compelling reason not to allow a woman officer to wear a head scarf and that it is advancing that interest by the "least restrictive" means possible.
"Our police department needs to show they are interested in diversity and want to represent the diverse people in Columbus," he said.
Columbus Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Woods told the Columbus Dispatch “We want to interact with all members of the community without a preconceived notion of who we are. We strive to be a nonpolitical, nonreligious organization. What I know is that our goal is to display neutrality in our uniform.”
Woods said police officials consulted with the city attorney’s office, and current case law supports the decision, which he said was ultimately made by Chief Kim Jacobs. Police were also concerned about safety, he said. For example, officers wear clip-on ties so that they can’t be used to gain control. He said gas masks won’t fit over the scarves.
Mvslim.com boasts in this May 16, 2015 report that the St. Paul Minnesota Police Department allowed the first law enforcement officer in the state to wear a hijab.
Only a values neutral dress policy can be certain to instill the best sense of security in the greatest number of citizens the police department serves. The badge of a law enforcement officer should be the only symbol that citizens see when an officer arrives to serve and protect.
Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to thank the Chief of Police, Deputy Chief of Police and Mayor for continuing a values neutral dress code for law enforcement officers by not opening the policy to allow hijabs, scarves and other cultural attire.
To send your email, please click the following link, enter your name and email address then click the "Send Your Message" button. You may also edit the subject or message text if you wish.
Click here to send your email to thank the Chief of Police, Deputy Chief of Police and Mayor for continuing a values neutral dress code for law enforcement officers by not opening the policy to allow hijabs, scarves and other cultural attire.
Twitter and Facebook. The following Heading Description in bold blue and Floridafamily.org Article Link have been prepared for you to share the article shown below with your Twitter and/or Facebook friends. Simply copy the bold blue heading and associated article link and paste on your Twitter and Facebook page. Please feel free to edit the heading.
CAIR condemns Columbus Ohio police department for continuing to ban officers from wearing hijabs. http://floridafamily.org/full_article.php?article_no=481
Personal posts are more likely to be responded to by friends and acquaintances than posts from Florida Family Association.
Columbus Ohio Police Department
Kim Jacobs, Chief of Police
Mike Woods, Deputy Chief of Police
Mayor Michael B. Coleman
City Hall 2nd Floor
90 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Office : 614-645-7671
Fax : 614-724-5818