CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -A spokesman for the family of a newly-accepted Muslim student at The Citadel says they are considering legal options following the Commandant of Cadets’ decision to reject the student’s request to wear a head cover.
According to a statement from Lt. Gen. Jon Rosa, an American Muslim student accepted to the Class of 2020 asked to wear a head cover, called a hijab, along with the Citadel’s standard blue, black and white uniform.
“While we hope the student will enroll in the college this fall, the Commandant of Cadets, after considerable review, determined the uniform exception cannot be granted,” reads the statement.
“The standardization of cadets in apparel, overall appearance, actions and privileges is essential to the learning goals and objectives of the college,” it continues. “This process reflects an initial relinquishing of self during which cadets learn the value of teamwork to function as a single unit.”
Lt. Gen. Rosa says The Citadel recognizes the importance of a cadet’s spiritual and religious beliefs and provides services for specific needs whenever possible.
“Cadet religious officers arrange transportation to churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship for those without cars,” he said. “Accommodations for prayer and dietary needs are common at the college.”
Abdul Mjeed, the Sheik of The Central Mosque of Charleston said Tuesday he answered questions from Citadel officials to help them better understand the religion.
“[They] asked me if it was mandatory for a woman in Islam to wear the hijab or wear that scarf,” he said. “I said yes it is.”
According to Mjeed all women over 10-years-old who practice the religion, must wear the head scarf.
If they don’t, it can be considered a sin.
Female members of the mosque said they respect the decision made by the Citadel.
“Every institution has their own policies and rules that we need to respect them,” said Reshma Khan, the Women’s representative at the mosque.
However Khan and Ruby Abid, another member, said they do have some reservations about the decision and what it could have meant to society today.
“If they would have allowed her to wear the scarf it would have been very positive in these current days of Islamic-phobia,” Abid said.
“It would have broken a lot of barriers and it would have given us a warm feeling,” Khan added.
Suzanne Chisholm is a graduate of the Citadel.
She said she stands by the decision made, saying she had to make sacrifices herself in order to become part of the Citadel community.
“I had to wear a uniform I didn’t want to wear,” Chisholm said. “I had to cut my hair. I had to follow a bunch of rules and regulations that I didn’t want to follow, but if I didn’t want to do those things then I shouldn’t have gone to the Citadel.”
“This world is full of choices,” Abid said. “If she (the Muslim student) happens to not choose this choice, maybe there is something better waiting for her.”
Ibrahim Hooper with the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington said he spoke with the family Tuesday morning after Citadel officials called to tell the woman she could not wear a hijab.
Hooper said the prospective cadet is disappointed that the school rejected her request, and will not attend the Charleston school this fall unless there is a change.
The Florida Family Association reminds the sheik of the Charleston mosque that he doesn’t know his Islam very well and that most Muslims in the U.S. and around the world are sinning:
Wearing the Hijab in Solidarity Perpetuates Oppression
In the eight times the word hijab, or a derivative, appears in the Koran, it means a “barrier” or “curtain,” with spiritual, not sartorial, meaning.
Today, well-intentioned women are wearing headscarves in interfaith “solidarity.” But, to us, they stand on the wrong side of a lethal war of ideas that sexually objectifies women as vessels for honor and temptation, absolving men of personal responsibility.
This purity culture covers, segregates, subordinates, silences, jails and kills women and girls around the world.
“The Qur’an Does Not Mandate Hijab” writes Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph. D. President Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.
“… as long as the dresses are not revealing or too tight, cultural variations can add tremendous diversity in the fulfillment of this guideline. Hijab, a terminology that is NOT to be found in the Qur’an or Hadith in the context of dress code.” Ibrahim Syed refers to Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl’s studies of the Qur’an and Islamic law. Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl is an accomplished Islamic jurist and scholar, and a Professor of Law at the UCLA’s School of Law. He previously taught Islamic law at the University of Texas, Yale Law School and Princeton University. A high-ranking Shaykh, Dr. Abou El Fadl also received formal training in Islamic jurisprudence in Egypt and Kuwait. Ibrahim Syed writes “Abou El Fadl argues that in contemporary Muslim societies people tend to become authoritative by imposing a single viewpoint to the total exclusion of others. Shariah (Islamic law) is then invoked to quash debate by people who are themselves not adequately qualified to do so.”
Pew Research found that only forty three percent (43%) of American Muslim women wear hijabs according a National Public Radio report. The majority of American Muslim women do NOT wear hijabs. Rasmieyh Abdelnabi, 27, grew up attending an Islamic school in Bridgeview, Ill., a tiny Arab enclave on Chicago’s southwest side. It’s a place where most Muslim women wear the hijab. Abdelnabi explains why she stopped wearing the hijab. She says that Islam teaches modesty — but wearing the hijab is taking it a step too far. “I’ve done my research, and I don’t feel its foundation is from Islam,” she says. “I think it comes from Arab culture.” Read more at NPR.org
There is little debate online as to whether the Qu’ ran mentions hijabs because it does not. Wearing a hijab is clearly driven by culture and custom and is not a religious requirement. However, Islamists who want to Islamize America instead of assimilate into American culture are pushing these Sharia style customs.
The hijab is a symbol of oppression that is fostered by strict adherents of Sharia law which is antithetical to the rights afforded under the United States Constitution. Changing the dress code to accommodate the wearing of the hijab dangerously elevates Sharia over the United States Constitution.