SC jail decides to let Muslim women wear hijab

WASHINGTON (WCIV) - The largest Muslim civil rights advocacy group in the country announced Thursday that the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center had decided to allow Muslim female inmates to wear religious head coverings.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations worked to change the jail's policy after a Muslim woman arrested on Dec. 31 was told to remove her hijab so she could have her booking photograph taken.In a letter to CAIR, Ronaldo D. Myers, director of the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia, S.C., wrote, "As requested, we have reviewed and updated our policies to ensure clarity with our staff on the processing and searching of female detainees of the Muslim faith, and specifically have exempted the wearing of religious headwear from our facility's 'Prohibited Acts' policy."

"We welcome the detention center's decision to allow detainees to exercise their constitutionally-protected religious freedom," said CAIR National Legal Director Nadhira Al-Khalili. "We have recently received reports of denial of religious rights at correctional institutions in other states and are working to achieve similarly positive resolutions in those cases." She said CAIR offers an educational toolkit, called "A Correctional Institution's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," to help correctional officers gain a better understanding of Islam and Muslims.