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Muslim woman fired for wearing headscarf is reinstated

A Muslim saleswoman from Philadelphia, who was fired from her job for refusing to remove her religious head scarf, was reinstated Tuesday and will be reimbursed for her lost wages.

Khadijah Campbell, 23, moved to Dover, Del., when her husband was accepted to graduate school. On Oct. 6, she filled out an application at the Dover store of Bare Feet Shoes, the Montgomery County-based retailer. She interviewed wearing her hijab and was hired on the spot, she said.

On Oct. 7, her first day of work, a district manager visited the Dover store and ordered her to remove the scarf or work in the store’s stockroom. She told the manager that she wore the scarf for religious reasons. He told her the chain did not allow anyone to display their religion and then dismissed her in front of the other workers, said Moein Khawaja, executive director for the Pennsylvania chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

On Monday, CAIR filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. On Tuesday, Campbell was reinstated and the district manager who fired her was suspended, Khawaja said. Though the store offered her the job back, Campbell said she would not be returning.

“I normally have tough skin, but I’m very sensitive when it comes to my religion. The whole thing was very embarrassing,” Campbell said. “This is America, not a third-world country.” She said she would continue looking for work. “It’s back to square 1,” she said.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 20 October 2010

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