Defense Department Agrees To Allow Muslim Cadets To Wear Hijabs

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hijab-arab-muslimThe Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced last week that the Department of Defense will begin allowing Muslim and Sikh students who wear an Islamic head scarf (hijab) or a turban to participate in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC).

“We welcome the fact that Muslim and Sikh students nationwide will now be able to participate fully in JROTC leadership activities while maintaining their religious beliefs and practices,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

In October, the Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization wrote to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta after a 14-year-old Muslim student at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tenn., was forced to transfer out of a JROTC class when her commanding officers told her she could not wear hijab while marching in the September homecoming parade.

CAIR requested constitutionally-protected religious accommodations for the girl and for future Muslim JROTC participants.

In a Dec. 19 letter sent to CAIR, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army Larry Stubblefield wrote:

“I have been asked to respond on behalf of the Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta to your October 13, 2011 letter concerning Miss Demin Zawity’s request to wear a religious head covering (hijab) while participating in an Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) event at Ravenwood High School.

“Based on your concerns, the Army has reviewed its JROTC uniform policy and will develop appropriate procedures to provide Cadets the opportunity to request the wear of religious head dress, such as the turban and hijab. This change will allow Miss Zawity and other students the chance to fully participate in the JROTC program. Additionally, a representative from the U.S. Army Cadet Command will contact Miss Zawity and provide her the opportunity to rejoin the Ravenwood High School JROTC unit.

“The Army prides itself in being a diverse organization, comprised of individuals from many faiths and religions. We appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention.”

{Orlando Sentinel/ Newscenter}


  1. Please be accurate in your reporting.

    The person in the picture is NOT wearing a hijab.

    She is wearing a burka.

    A hijab poses no security risk, since the face is totally exposed.

    A burka covers the entire face except, sometimes, the eyes, and is therefore a security risk.

  2. This is what we can expect under Obama.All the banks & brokerage companies are firing Jews & hiring Arabs. Depository Trust Co., in preparation to going to Washington, fired Jews & hired a bunch of Arabs & Indians. 2 orthodox Jews on high-levels quit lately.

  3. Great ‘Defense Dept.’ we have, almost as good as the ‘Justice Dept.’ with Linda Reade & Eric Holder etc. discriminating against Rubashkin & Pollard & the Dept. of Labor who gives away millions to Peru & outsources jobs to foreign countries!!

  4. No. 2 – you almost got it right. That isn’t a hijab across her face – it’s a niqab. A hijab only hides the hair, neck and sometimes shoulders. A burka is a cape that covers the whole body with a tiny cloth grate in front to see out of. The person looks like a walking stump.

    The face is fully visible with a hijab. The lady in the picture is wearing a hijab plus niqab – very unusual in the US. Sikhs wear turbans, but surprise, guys, they aren’t Muslims. The only incidents of terrorism by Sikhs were in India when Indira Gandhi and her government were discriminating against them. No reason for us to worry. Remember that the freedom of religion thing includes us too. If they’re telling Sikhs not to wear turbans and Muslims not to wear heardscarves, tomorrow they could be telling Jewish men not to wear yarmulkehs and Jewish women to take their sheitels off for DMV photographs. Look out – the observances you defend may be your own.

  5. Why are Muslims allowed to wear religiously required garb while Jews are prohibited from wearing yarmulkas in the US army?

  6. The part of all this that puzzles me is Muslims come to the United States where they enjoy opportunities and rights that are unimaginable in their places of origin and probably will remain so for generations to come. Yet they have no problem denying these very rights to others, such as harassment of Jewish students on college campuses. Furthermore, what kinds of rights may Jews and Christians enjoy in Muslim countries? Thoughts?


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