Sheriff's Office Rescinds Anti-Muslim Headwear Policy

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It's called a hijab, and it looks like this:

hijab.jpg

As of this Friday, Aug. 19, the Davidson County Sheriff's Office will no longer order the removal of the above-pictured religious headgear when booking women of the Muslim faith — or men of any faith, for that matter, regardless of spiritual-cranial attire — so long as the wearer of the headgear in question doesn't "(use) the head covering to conceal or transport contraband," because shoes are totally not the problem.

The change was trumpeted in a press release sent out yesterday by the Tennessee ACLU, whose legal director, Tricia Herzfeld, commended DSCO for taking "responsibility" by implementing the new policy.

“We applaud DCSO for recognizing the importance of protecting individuals’ constitutional right to exercise their religious beliefs," Herzfeld said.

After a series of back-to-back incidents this spring involving the involuntary removal of a hijab and a kufi from a Muslim woman and man, respectively, by Nashville authorities, the TN-ACLU stepped up pressure on the sheriff's office, which now has its hands full threatening deportation to high-school aged Hispanics.

Now, even kufis are cool with DSCO, provided they're properly screened by a chaplain. From the full policy change (PDF):

For security reasons, prayer rugs and religious attire such as kufis and yarmulkes cannot be sent to inmates directly from manufacturers, family, or friends. If such items are received by mail they will be placed in the inmate's property until screened and approved by a facility chaplain.

While there's probably a good joke in there about a Christian chaplain inspecting Jewish and Islamic clothing for contraband, we're not going to tell it.

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