Headgear Hysteria

Here’s an Op-Ed from the National Law Journal:

High Fashion or Religious Fervor? Headwear Laws Fraught With Trouble

The distinction between faith-based garb and trendy styles isn’t always clear.

by Ruthann Robson
The National Law Journal
October 14, 2013

459px-Kate_Duchess_Cambridge_2012Passion about head coverings is not limited to intense interest in Kate Middleton’s latest hat or ­fascinator.

Retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, well known for its “look policies,” lost a court battle last month to prohibit its employees from wearing headscarves but won a different federal appeal earlier this month because a 17-year-old employee did not make explicit the religious motives for her scarf. And earlier this month, Turkey made news by further lifting its long-standing ban on headscarves, even while maintaining the prohibition for women judges, prosecutors and members of the military.

Police officers in the Bronx, N.Y., allegedly removed by force the headscarves of teenage girls playing in a park in late August. And last month in Mississippi, the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the state Department of Transporta­tion alleging that employees had targeted a truck driver because he was wearing a turban. When the truck driver appeared in court on the charge for failure to obey an order, the judge reportedly had him ejected from the courtroom for his headdress and told his attorney that he needed to remove the “rag” from his head.

It isn’t only Muslims and Sikhs whose head coverings arouse consternation. In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case of S. Simcha Goldman, an Air Force psychologist who had worn a yarmulke without incident for many years, despite a regulation prohibiting . . . . .
Read more on National Law Journal here.

[image of Kate Middleton via]