The End - 2000 to 2009

A Muslim woman was asked to leave her place in line at a credit union in Southern Maryland and be served in a back room because the head scarf she wore for religious reasons violated the institution’s “no hats, hoods or sunglasses” policy, the woman said yesterday.

The incident at the Navy Federal Credit Union on Saturday was the second in a month for Kenza Shelley, and Muslim advocates fear it could become a problem nationwide as many financial institutions, intent on curbing robberies and identity theft, ban hats and similar items without appropriate accommodations for religious attire.

“This may be the tip of the iceberg,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. “There’s got to be a way to work it out so that this security concern does not lead to violations of constitutional rights.”

Shelley, 54, who runs a day care out of her home in Lexington Park, said she has used the credit union in the St. Mary’s County community of California for more than 10 years. Until February, no employees had complained about her head scarf, which covers her hair but not her face. But a few weeks ago, she said, she was standing in line to deposit a check when an employee asked her to come to the back room, referring to a new policy that prohibited hats, hoods and sunglasses. She complied but asked whether she would have to go through the same process each time she made a transaction.

Read more here.


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  • 10 Responses for "Muslim Woman Asked to Leave Line at a Navy Federal Credit Union Because of Head Scarf"

    1. SM March 12th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

      Hmm…I heard about that hats, hoods, and sunglasses policy, and would understand if she wore a niqab..but the hijab? come on..you can still identify a person when they wear the hijab, because the biggest fear is having someone come in and rob the bank and no one being able to identify them. This is too much…it reminds of the stupid bill this guy tried to pass, by having hijabs removed when taking a picture for your driver’s liscence….i find it quite absurd to say the least.

      i don’t think the hijab is any type of threat for banks..

    2. awesome March 12th, 2009 at 4:13 pm

      I’d like to see some stats on how many hijaabis rob banks. I don’t think there are that many. Not that if there were, that would change anything as far as constitutional rights go. There are lots of people who wear blue jeans when they rob banks. We must therefore ban blue jeans!! You have to come to the bank wearing underwear!…lol

    3. Modern Girl March 12th, 2009 at 8:59 pm

      When people wear hoods, you can still identify them too. So the rule can’t soley be for security purposes, can it?

      I wonder if they would ask the same thing of a Catholic nun wearing a habit.

    4. farooq March 12th, 2009 at 9:28 pm

      some things have legitimate reasons. Muslims got to stop being cry babies. If the hijab is a security issue they can say come to the back or no service….Thats their rite. You dont like it go some where else.

    5. awesome March 12th, 2009 at 10:07 pm

      farooq? Seriously? Baggy clothes can conceal weapons, sun glasses block a good part of a persons identity, wearing make up has drastic effects, beards, etc. There is no way something like this flies in any courtroom. I’m not even against profiling people in every scenario but muslims aren’t bank robbers. Its a dumb restriction and its what I call Mcarthy creep.

    6. stranger March 12th, 2009 at 11:30 pm

      If you watch the video on the link, the Navy Federal Credit Union said that their new policy was misunderstood and that it does allow for religious and cultural attire, so I hope this will be made clear for all the employees working there so that something like this doesn’t happen again in the future. .

    7. Tranquilityfromwithin March 13th, 2009 at 11:25 am

      This is just sad and complete nonsense. If this trend keeps up I would not be surprised if wearing the hijab becomes prohibited in ‘public space.’ First it was the driver licence nonsense, now this …

      Like awesome mentioned before, the people who steal from banks are first and for-most done by males then women (which is pretty rare). Also why would a believing woman who went out of her way to wear the hijab for the sake of God, then steal from a bank?! That’s just crazy!

    8. Malik March 13th, 2009 at 12:26 pm

      This dude ‘Awesome’ needs to start his own blog!

    9. Malik March 13th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

      Yo, PS

      It’s very very important to watch the video associated with the full article.

      The Bank makes it clear that the security provision for the bank makes exceptions for religious and cultural attire.

      In light of this there should be no problem with the bank’s policy, it was simply misinterpreted by the staff (who may or may not have been acting with discriminatory intent). The policy, though, is fine.

    10. AJ March 24th, 2009 at 11:58 am

      Tranquilityfromwithin – Why would someone for religious reasons kill thousands of people? Also do you think that it is possible that someone might wear this attire to hide their idenity and not for religious reasons?

      All others – There needs to be some common sense in your thoughts. Bluejeans do not diguise someone identiy.
      I thought Muslims did not believe in interest? Why was she in the bank anyway? Is this not a violation of her beliefs? Or can Muslims pick and choose what parts they like …just like most other religions?

      Sometimes public safety needs to come befrore YOUR personal needs.

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