Thu November 8, 2012
Hijab at Center of Tulsa Banking Complaint
The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on Tulsa's Valley National Bank to review its "inappropriate and discriminatory" policy that treats customers wearing religious head coverings differently than other patrons.
CAIR-OK said a Muslim customer at a Valley National Bank branch in Tulsa reported that she was singled out by bank officials because of her religiously-mandated head scarf, or hijab.
The Muslim customer was allegedly told she would not be able to enter the bank unless accompanied by a bank employee to and from the teller because of a “no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses” policy.
Valley National Bank has confirmed in a letter to CAIR-OK that it is their policy to single out women who wear a head scarf, whether for religious reasons or otherwise.
"Singling out Muslim women or other people of faith who wear religiously-mandated head coverings that do not hinder identification is inappropriate and discriminatory," said CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani. "All customers should be treated equally regardless of their faith or religious practices."
Soltani said the bank’s policy on head coverings would also impact Sikh and Jewish men who wear turbans and yarmulkes, and would logically be applied to Orthodox Jewish women who often wear wigs for religious reasons or Catholic nuns who wear habits.
CAIR-OK is calling on Valley National Bank review its “no hats” policy and to make adjustments as necessary to ensure Muslim women and individuals of all faith groups are made to feel welcome as customers.