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Catholic School Bars Muslim Scarf

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  • ummyakoub
    OHIO CATHOLIC SCHOOL BARS GIRL WEARING MUSLIM SCARF REGINA HIGH BARS GIRL WEARING MUSLIM SCARF Karen R. Long, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/28/03
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2003
      OHIO CATHOLIC SCHOOL BARS GIRL WEARING MUSLIM SCARF
      REGINA HIGH BARS GIRL WEARING MUSLIM SCARF
      Karen R. Long, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/28/03
      http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/106
      207423574610.xml

      EDITORIAL CARTOON ON OHIO HIJAB CONTROVERSY
      http://www.cleveland.com/darcy/index.ssf?/darcy/more/082903.html

      Amal Jamal is not welcome at Regina High School anymore.

      The returning senior learned Monday as she stood in line to buy
      textbooks that she now violates her Catholic school dress code by
      wearing a Muslim headscarf, or hajib. Surrounded by classmates, Amal
      put down her books, fought back tears and left.

      "I was in shock; I didn't understand," Amal said. "All along, they
      gave me a room to pray in. They asked me questions about Islam. They
      always accepted me for who I was. Now they have decided it is against
      school policy to wear my hajib."

      Amal, a soft-spoken 17-year-old, sat in her Euclid living room
      yesterday, too stunned to consider what she might do next as her 270
      schoolmates attended a second day of classes on the South Euclid
      campus. Amal said she was stung that no administrator, teacher or
      student had called her or tried to help.

      "I feel very bad about this situation. I've agonized over it," said
      Sister Maureen Burke, Regina's principal for 12 years. "Amal is a
      wonderful young woman. The family is very fine. . . . But the uniform
      issue is very important to who we are as a Catholic school."

      Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American Islamic
      Relations in Washington, DC, said he knew of no other American
      private school dismissing a Muslim girl in this way. "It's just
      ridiculous," he said. "You have a religious school denying a student
      the right to her religious belief."

      Yesterday Hooper called Burke in an effort to intervene. Burke
      explained that a private school had a right to enforce its particular
      rules. In contrast, no American public school can prohibit a girl
      from wearing a religious headscarf, according to the U.S. Department
      of Education...

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      CATHOLIC GIRLS SCHOOL TO REVIEW DRESS CODE
      Karen R. Long, Plain Dealer, 8/30/03
      http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga
      /1062236314108621.xml

      Regina High School, responding to mounting criticism, announced
      yesterday that it will review the dress code that caused it to bar a
      returning senior for wearing a Muslim head scarf to school this week.

      "The school community will undertake a process that will allow for a
      review of policy, its implementation and the issues of religious
      tolerance that have surfaced," Principal Maureen Burke said in a
      prepared statement. "This process will be done as quickly as
      possible."

      While some supporters encouraged the small Catholic girls school to
      stand firm, the Ohio Council on American Islamic Relations asked
      national Catholic authorities to intervene on behalf of student Amal
      Jamal.

      Former Rep. Mary Rose Oakar and the Rev. Joseph Hillinski, interfaith
      director of the Catholic diocese, also called on Regina High School
      to re-admit the girl.

      Amal, who was born 17 years ago in Cleveland, began in June to wear
      the hijab, the Muslim head scarf, everywhere. She was standing in
      line buying textbooks Monday when Burke told Amal that she could not
      attend classes on the South Euclid campus in her scarf.

      Jad Humeidan, CAIR's Ohio executive director, praised Burke for the
      review and asked officials if Amal might attend classes in the
      meantime. He said Regina's response was noncommittal.

      In a letter e-mailed yesterday to members of the Islamic community,
      Hillinski wrote: "It might help for you to realize that other
      Catholic schools, and especially those under the direct
      administration of Bishop Pilla called Diocesan schools, would welcome
      a young woman who wore the hijab because of her religious conviction.
      I assure that I will continue to help our Catholic people realize
      that we esteem the religious convictions and traditions of IslamÂ…"

      Hillinski said he wished Burke had consulted him before deciding that
      Amal's head scarf violated the dress code. The priest noted the long
      cordial relations between the Jamals and both Regina and Holy Cross
      Elementary School in Euclid.

      "I really think the Jamals did not guess for a moment that [he ban on
      headdress] applied to them," he said. "They thought the handbook
      spoke to decorative headwear."

      EDITORIAL CARTOON ON OHIO HIJAB CONTROVERSY
      http://www.cleveland.com/darcy/index.ssf?/darcy/more/082903.html

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