Tell South Carolina Military College to Let Muslim Women Wear Hijabs

South Carolina military college The Citadel recently denied an American Muslim woman's request to wear a hijab with her uniform.

As a former member of the Army, I disagree with this decision. For Muslim women, the hijab is not something that is taken off to suit certain uniforms or contexts - it is a part of their identity and expresses modesty, privacy, morality, and a dedication to Islam.

The school has said standardization is critical, but in this instance, I don't think standardization is important enough to warrant denying diversity and expression. Members of the military and civilians alike in this country should stand up for the freedom to express one’s religion.

Please sign my Care2 petition to urge The Citadel to allow Muslim women to wear their hijabs.

When I was in the Army, I knew the regulations inside and out because I was confronted by superiors every day trying to counsel me on my wardrobe choices. This did not happen to any of my male counterparts, ever. My superiors always assumed I was not following regulation. But they were wrong; I was always within regulation. Now, ten years later, I hope that we are at a place in the military to stop this harassment of women, and of believers of Eastern religions in particular.

The military now allows men to wear a turban and a beard for religious reasons. Since The Citadel follows military regulations, it makes sense that women should be allowed to wear a hijab for religious reasons.

In 2014, the Defense Department released regulations ensuring the rights of religious-minority service members to display their beliefs outwardly by wearing a turban, scarf or beard. The requests are still decided on an individual basis and can be denied if they interfere with a uniform. It's time for state-supported military colleges like The Citadel to follow suit and rethink their policies of conformity.

A spokesman for the woman told the Council on American-Islamic Relations that she probably will not attend The Citadel in the fall unless the school’s uniform policy changes.

It's awful to think this woman will be barred from attending the school she admires because of an outdated, bigoted policy. The Citadel needs to be on the right side of history and proudly allow this student to wear her hijab while not in field conditions.

Please sign my petition to ask The Citadel to change its hijab policy.

South Carolina military college The Citadel recently denied an American Muslim woman's request to wear a hijab with her uniform.


As a former member of the Army, I disagree with this decision. For Muslim women, the hijab is not something that is taken off to suit certain uniforms or contexts - it is a part of their identity and expresses modesty, privacy, morality, and a dedication to Islam.


The school has said standardization is critical, but in this instance, I don't think standardization is important enough to warrant denying diversity and expression. Members of the military and civilians alike in this country should stand up for the freedom to express one’s religion.


The Citadel should allow Muslim women to wear their hijabs.


When I was in the Army, I knew the regulations inside and out because I was confronted by superiors every day trying to counsel me on my wardrobe choices. This did not happen to any of my male counterparts, ever. My superiors always assumed I was not following regulation. But they were wrong; I was always within regulation. Now, ten years later, I hope that we are at a place in the military to stop this harassment of women, and of believers of Eastern religions in particular.


The military now allows men to wear a turban and a beard for religious reasons. Since The Citadel follows military regulations, it makes sense that women should be allowed to wear a hijab for religious reasons.


In 2014, the Defense Department released regulations ensuring the rights of religious-minority service members to display their beliefs outwardly by wearing a turban, scarf or beard. The requests are still decided on an individual basis and can be denied if they interfere with a uniform. It's time for state-supported military colleges like The Citadel to follow suit and rethink their policies of conformity.


A spokesman for the woman told the Council on American-Islamic Relations that she probably will not attend The Citadel in the fall unless the school’s uniform policy changes.


It's awful to think this woman will be barred from attending the school she admires because of an outdated, bigoted policy. The Citadel needs to be on the right side of history and proudly allow this student to wear her hijab while not in field conditions.


Citadel: change your hijab policy.

Update #16 months ago
Norwich University, another military university has announced it will allow Muslim women to wear their hijabs. Norwich understands that the religious make-up of the US is diverse and those who represent us in the military reflect our diversity. We are diverse and stand united, and we ask The Citadel to update their policies and support its students to be strong in their faith as they draw on this faith to serve our great nation.
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