Wednesday, April 19, 2006

VA MUSLIM JIFFY LUBE EMPLOYEE ALLOWED TO WEAR ISLAMIC SCARF

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/13/2006) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today announced that a Muslim Jiffy Lube employee in Virginia will now be allowed to wear a religiously-mandated headscarf, or hijab, in the workplace. SEE: http://jiffylube.com/

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says the Muslim employee, who works at a Jiffy Lube in Leesburg, Va., was initially told she could not wear her hijab because of a "no hats" policy. Following CAIR's intervention in the case, company officials agreed to allow the headscarf and apologized to the Muslim employee.

"We appreciate Jiffy Lube's quick action in this case and hope that managers nationwide will be reminded of the legal obligation to accommodate the religious practices of employees," said CAIR Civil Rights Manager Khadija Athman.

Athman said CAIR publishes a booklet, called "An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," designed to prevent just such incidents. The booklet is available by e-mailing: pubs@cair-net.org (Include name, address and phone number when requesting the booklet.)

She noted that an article published recently by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) outlined issues faced by Muslims and Islam in the workplace. (See excerpts from article below.)

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Jiffy Lube International is a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company with more than 2200 service centers in the U.S. and Canada.

CAIR

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

First Hijab-clad Presenter on Danish TV

"I'm proud to be a Danish Muslim of Palestinian origin," said Asmaa.

COPENHAGEN, March 31, 2006 (IslamOnline.net) – The first hijab-clad talk show presenter has appeared on the Danish television to discuss Danish society's pressing issues topped by the cartoons that lampooned Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

"I'm seeking to project a good image about hijab-clad Muslim women in Denmark," Asmaa Abdol-Hamid told IslamOnline.net Friday, March 31.

Asmaa, 24, appeared for the first time on the small screen on
Wednesday, March 29.

She has been selected to co-present a talk show with Danish reporter Adam Holm.

"It has been a bold move from the Danish television and a step in the right direction," she said.

Denmark has been the focus of Muslim anger following the publication of THE offensive cartoons by mass-circulation Jyallands Posten last September.

The 12 cartoons, including one showing the Prophet with a bomb-shaped turban, were later reprinted by European newspapers on claims of freedom of expression.

Proud Muslim

Asmaa co-presents the program with Danish journalist Adam Holm.

The young lady has grown up in Denmark since she was six years old.

"I'm proud to be a Danish Muslim of Palestinian origin," said Asmaa, who is doing an MA in sociology.

"My family has supported me and gave me full freedom of choice," she added.

Asmaa has been singled out of four other competitors for the TV program.

"I was the only hijab-clad woman among the candidates," she noted.

"It is now my responsibility to present the true image of Islam as an ambassadress of the Muslim faith."

Asmaa rejected that she was chosen for hijab or as a gesture of goodwill from the Danish government to the Muslim world.

"I have the necessary qualifications for the job as a fluent Danish speaker and a confident presenter and interviewer," she explained.

Love/Hate Mails

Asmaa believes that her hijab will be the talk of the audience at the very beginning.

"But I'm confident that with the passage of time they would come to realize my distinct personality and presentation."

She said that she had received love and hate e-mails from Danish viewers.

"Some e-mails were critical and offensive; but I was never provoked and dealt with them in accordance with our Islamic teachings, trying to explain my viewpoints to the senders."

She hopes that her program will appeal to the Muslim minority in the country, urging Danish Muslims to participate and integrate into
society.

"This would help Muslims become part and parcel of Danish society," she said.

Muslims make up around three percent of Denmark's 5.3 population, making Islam the second largest religion after the Lutheran Protestant Church.

Islam, however, is not recognized by the state unlike Christianity and Judaism.

By Nidal Abu Arif, IOL Correspondent