CAIR, ACLU praise Oklahoma Bankers Association’s headscarf clarification

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) on Thursday expressed appreciation to the Oklahoma Bankers Association for clarifying a security policy commonly referred to “no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses” used by many of the state’s banks.

The two groups along with the Oklahoma Conference of Churches recently requested a meeting with the OBA following an incident in which a Muslim woman was initially denied access to a branch of Valley National Bank in Tulsa and asked to remove her religious head scarf, or hijab, before entering. The bank cited the “no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses” policy to justify its actions.

“Our goal in meeting with the OBA was to use this unfortunate incident as a teaching moment about the different types of head coverings worn by Muslim women and by individuals of other faiths,” said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani, in a written statement.

Roger Beverage, president and CEO of the OBA, said: “There was an effort on the part of the association to clearly understand what had happened and why that was such a big issue…. Once we understood that, it was easy to go the next step, which is to make reasonable choices when you’re in those kinds of situations.”

Tulsa World, 25 January 2013