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Woman wins US court battle over hijab

Issue 291
Front Page

Qaran Leaders’ Trial Opens
In Mandhera Jail’s Vicinity

Violations Against The Rights Of The Leaders Of The QARAN Political Organization

Fighting breaks out between Sool and Puntland clans

Somali oil bill targets former concession-holders

Letter To The Editor

Somalia Is Still A Failed State

Armed clan feud in Somalia kills 16

Somalia: War Crimes in Mogadishu

Commencement of Second Phase of National Reconciliation Congress

Nurse Tutor/ Lecturers wanted for posts in Somaliland

The World After Bush Part II: Somalia

Regional Affairs

Peacemaker assassinated

250 More Troops For Somalia

Special Report

International News

U.N. peacekeepers may head to Somalia

Woman wins US court battle over hijab

On-The-Record Briefing On U.S.-Eritrea Relations

Martin L. King Jr. & Acceptable Killing of Children by Air Strikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia

Lawmaker Apologizes for Muslim Remarks


Safirka: An American Envoy

China's Play for Somalia's Oil


Puntland:" A State or a Parasitic Entity within the Body Politic Of Somalia?

Land disputes fuel tensions in war-torn south Sudan

East African Nations Creating Regional Peacekeeping Force

Food for thought


Somaliland And Its University Graduates

Letter To The President Of Somaliland

Will Future Somaliland Presidents Ever Make The Mo Ibrahim Foundation List For Good Governance

No Chance for Kulmiye But Reforms

(As amended)
LAW NO 14/2000

The Family Circle Is The Survival Of Our Nation

The internationally approved Sub-clan cleansing/genocide in Moqadisho/Somalia

The Triumph of Rayale and Somaliland Tragedies

By Jane Morse

WASHINGTON, 18 August 2007 - A refugee from war-torn Somalia, Bilan Nur, came to the United States and succeeded in getting a job as a customer sales representative with Alamo Car Rental in Phoenix. As a Muslim, she wore a hijab, or head scarf, during the holy month of Ramadan.

But after the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, her employer refused to permit Nur to continue to cover her head at all, even though Nur was willing to wear an approved scarf with the Alamo Car Rental logo. The company fired Nur in December 2001 — only eight days before Ramadan ended that year — and declared her ineligible for rehire.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) - the federal government agency that enforces US anti-discrimination laws in the workplace - took up Nur’s case. Hers was the first post-September 11 backlash case brought by the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office.

After a six-year battle, EEOC won Nur’s religious discrimination suit. In June, a Phoenix jury awarded Nur more than $287,000 in back pay and compensatory and punitive damages.

In a statement released by the EEOC, Mary Jo O’Neill, the regional attorney for the EEOC Phoenix District Office, said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people of all religious beliefs. “No one should ever have to sacrifice her religious beliefs in order to keep a job,” O’Neill said.

EEOC trial attorney David Lopez, who tried Nur’s case, said in a statement that the jury’s award provided reassurance that even after the September 11 terrorist attacks, “Americans still believe in justice for all people.”

The victory was applauded by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). “This is a fair and just end to the racist dismissal of MNur from her job,” ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said in a statement. “We hope that this case will serve as an example that discrimination will not be tolerated in any environment, and that those who engage in such unlawful action will be held accountable.”

President Bush repeatedly has spoken out in defence of religious freedom for all people. “ America rejects bigotry,” he said in a 2002 speech. “We reject every act of hatred against people of Arab background or Muslim faith.

“ America values and welcomes peaceful people of all faiths – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and many others,” the president said. “Every faith is practised and protected here, because we are one country. Every immigrant can be fully and equally American because we’re one country.”

Nonetheless, the years following the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington saw an increase in the total number of cases filed with the EEOC because of discrimination based on religion and/or national origin. According to EEOC figures, the number of religion-based charges rose from 2,127 in fiscal year 2001 to 2,541 in fiscal year 2006.

Of the 2,541 charges of religious discrimination received in fiscal year 2006, EEOC resolved 2,387 and recovered $5.7mn in monetary benefits for the people who placed the charges, EEOC figures show.

Source: USINFO

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