Sunday, September 25, 2016   

  Home     About     Guest Editorials     Advertise     Blog     Site Map     Links     Contact      Subscribe RSS      Subscribe Email  
Home » General

NY Sikh, Muslim workers allowed religious headwear

31 May 2012 General 17 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
In this file photo Amardeep Singh (left), legal director of the Sikh Coalition, discusses a policy by the MTA. New York's Sikh and Muslim transit workers will be allowed to wear religious headgear without a government agency logo after spending years in legal battles for that right.

In this file photo Amardeep Singh (left), legal director of the Sikh Coalition, discusses a policy by the MTA. New York's Sikh and Muslim transit workers will be allowed to wear religious headgear without a government agency logo after spending years in legal battles for that right.

New York’s Sikh and Muslim transit workers will be allowed to wear religious head coverings without an agency logo — after years of legal battles.

A settlement was announced Wednesday between workers and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The agency faced a string of lawsuits after deciding before 9/11 that employees wearing the traditional Sikh turbans and Muslim headscarves had to work out of public view. The agency later changed it so that workers were allowed to wear the head coverings in public — but only with the MTA logo attached.

The U.S. Justice Department brought the case on behalf of 10 workers.

The settlement is in response to the federal lawsuit alleging the MTA discriminated against workers wearing the head coverings.

The MTA says the settlement “contains no finding of fault or liability.”

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

NEW YORK (AP) — New Yorks Sikh and Muslim transit workers will be allowed to wear religious head coverings without a government agency logo after years of bitter legal battles that started after the 9/11 terror attacks.

A settlement between workers and New York City Transit run by the state Metropolitan Transportation Authority was announced Wednesday.

“This was the back-of-the-bus solution,” said Amardeep Singh, a Sikh-American community spokesman who compared the agencys dealings with the employees to the pre-civil rights practice of seating black Americans at the back of public buses.

The agency issued a policy in 2003 forcing employees wearing the traditional Sikh turbans and Muslim khimars, or headscarves, to work out of public view. Some were reassigned from bus routes to nonpublic jobs in depots.

The next year, workers were allowed to wear the head coverings in public — but only with the MTA logo attached.

Singh’s nonprofit Sikh Coalition represents five subway station agents and a train operator who joined four Muslim bus drivers to fight what was dubbed the “brand or segregate” policy.

Shayana Kadidal, an attorney at Manhattan’s Center for Constitutional Rights, said it was “a calculated attempt” to hide certain workers “on the grounds that they ‘look Muslim’ and might alarm the public for that reason.”

Among them was a subway train operator who became a 9/11 hero, for evacuating more than 800 people from the subway near the World Trade Center by maneuvering his train to safety after power was knocked out. Above, the towers were collapsing and dust filled the station.

“The MTA honored me for driving my train in reverse away from the towers on 9/11 and leading passengers to safety,” said motorman Kevin Harrington. “I didn’t have a corporate logo on my turban on 9/11.”

The U.S. Justice Department brought its case under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, saying New York’s transit officials had discriminated against workers.

The city agency faced separate lawsuits filed in federal court.

Harrington, who was brought up Catholic and converted to the Sikh religion, said the policy “was driven by fear. I am relieved that the policy of branding or segregating Sikh or Muslim workers is coming to an end.”

In a statement released Wednesday, the MTA New York City Transit said the settlement “contains no finding of fault or liability.”

The transit agency said it agrees “to modify the headwear portion of the NYCT uniform policy to permit employees in those titles to wear turbans, headscarves, and certain other forms of headwear that do not contain the standard NYCT-issued logo.”

But any head coverings must be blue — the color of standard transit employee uniforms.

Under this weeks settlement, transit authorities are to pay the six Sikhs a total of $87,500.

Attorney Lonnie Hart Jr., who represents three of the four Muslim workers, said they also received an undisclosed amount of money.

The problem started when his client, Malikah Alkebulan, a Muslim bus driver, was hired several months after Sept. 11, 2001. While in training, he said, “she was told she would have to take ‘that thing’ off her head.”

At first, she refused but then relented because she was still on probation for her job, according to Hart.

He said transit officials then sought out other Muslim drivers wearing head coverings and they were taken off buses.

“Were gratified the case has finally been settled,” he said. “Its been a long, hard struggle.”

Original post: NY Sikh, Muslim workers allowed religious headwear

Share/Bookmark




17 Comments »

  1. That’s great news, I can wear a stetson to work now.

  2. yeah muslims don’t want special treatment? the list grows. so why can’t they put a logo on their hajib or turban. the sikhs are getting as bad with all thier crying. you can’t see my hair! these silly superstitions have no end.

  3. I c u lack understanding as usual Mike,
    The system already has laws that accomadate Christians and Jews (another minority) such as Saturday and Sunday off for worship, Kosher food, winter holidays and spring break . Head coverings are for modesty not superstitions. All societies have a set of minimum standards for how ppl should dress in public. Who r u to tell ppl how they should dress? I thought u believed a woman should be able to dress how she wants. U mock only becuz u r an atheist and have no respect for other peoples belief. Maybe if u did then ppl wouldn’t think all atheists are pricks. Perhaps u should look into the increase in rape statistics they won’t show on the news. Perhaps we shouldn’t have social security. Or handicap seats on the bus. Why accomadate a blind man with a dog at a restraunt (remember that article?). The lists goes on. Grow up.

  4. “Who r u to tell ppl how they should dress?”

    Telling people how to dress seems to be the preserve of imaginary beings from middle eastern folk tales.

  5. mb,

    “I c u lack understanding as usual Mike,” hum, ok. but i don’t think so. you should look in the mirror boss.
    “The system already has laws that accomadate Christians and Jews (another minority) such as Saturday and Sunday off for worship,” what? where in the world are you. there is no law requiring employers to give saturday or sunday off. how come so many things are open on the weekend?
    “Kosher food,” there is no law mandating kosher food? capitalism is what provides kosher or halal food, not a government mandate.
    “winter holidays and spring break.” if by winter you mean christmas, then you are right on that one. christmas is a declared national holiday. but of course jesus wasn’t born on the 25th. the christians hyjacked the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. and yes spring break often falls around easter, but it is not a declared mandate either. not to mention easter is all over the place in the different christian calenders. as is christmas, well just the easter orthodox are on what january 6th. we got a ton of greeks in tarpon springs. never heard of any of them sueing their employer to have the epiphany off. my sisters neighbors are serbians, i’ve done a few serbian christmases in january at their house.
    “Head coverings are for modesty not superstitions.” the superstition comes into play in thinking that you will be thown into a great fire of which men and stones are the fuel, if you don’t follow some archaic law that was supposedly reveled by and angel.
    “All societies have a set of minimum standards for how ppl should dress in public.” not sure about that. wasn’t there just some story of a woman in oregon gardening and riding her bike around town nude.
    “Who r u to tell ppl how they should dress?” i’m not trying to tell anyone how to dress. their employers are. i support an employers ability to set a dress code. don’t you?

    “I thought u believed a woman should be able to dress how she wants.” sure, but then again i believe an employer…how many times do i have to say that.
    “U mock only becuz u r an atheist and have no respect for other peoples belief.” no i mock because you tell me muslims don’t want special treatment and then support them when they sue for special treatment.
    “Maybe if u did then ppl wouldn’t think all atheists are pricks.” wow talk about hypocisy. muslims cry that people paint them with a broad brush becuase of the terrorist, yet you and some mysterious “ppl” think all atheists are pricks because of little ole me. lol.
    “Perhaps u should look into the increase in rape statistics they won’t show on the news.” ok give them to me? not sure what that has to do with anything. so are you saying if all women wore headscarfs or veils or burquas there would be less rapes? now who is telling people how to dress?
    “Perhaps we shouldn’t have social security.” alleluia we agree on something. social security is a terrible system
    “Or handicap seats on the bus.” if a private bus company wants to i have no problem with that. i was against ada when it passed in ’90? and i’m still against it. now government building should all be handicap exccesible. but private business shouldn’t be forced to accomadate anyone they don’t want to. if i want to open a restuarant that only serves people under 5 feet tall, that should be my freedom.
    “Why accomadate a blind man with a dog at a restraunt (remember that article?).” yeah the mexican restuarant, the hispanic woman clearly didn’t understand ada. but if you are dumb enough as a business owner to say i’m not letting in this person or that person, then i have faith in the invisable hand. especially with social media. you remember what the outcome was? facebook campaign put them out of business.
    “The lists goes on. Grow up.” what list? people asking for special treatment and lawsuits against employers? no doubt. you tell me to grow up. yet i’m not the one who insults people, calling them names.

    i wish i was only 15 though. good times.

  6. it appears you are the liar mr bennet. or maybe just ignorant, that’s alright no one can know everything. here’s context for ya. no mention of treason or fighting first. just idolatry, blashphamy or apostasy. none of which should be crimes. i love the guys explianation that the only problem with the hadith is the possible means of execution. not that they didn’t deserve to be killed. well what did the prophet say??????

    Why Did Ali Burn Some Apostates?

    By

    Understanding Islam

    Question:

    A Christian missionary has cited the following Hadith from Bukhari and is demanding an explanation:

    Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57:

    Narrated `Ikrima:

    Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to `Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn `Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'”

    —————

    Can you briefly describe the background, which compelled Hadhrat `Ali to take this action? How valid is the isnad [1] and matn [2] and the legality of such a punishment? If there is an argument that Hadhrat `Ali cited to justify this action, that too is welcome.

    Jazakumallah Khaira

    Answer:

    The referred narrative is placed in the Kitaab Al-Jihaad as well as the Kitaab Istitaabah Al-Murtaddeen by Al-Bukhari in his “Sahih”.

    Although Bukhari’s narratives do not give any details regarding the incident, yet in his exegesis on Bukhari – “Fath Al-Baari” – Ibn Hajar has mentioned a few other versions of the same incident [3]. Considering all the narratives reporting this incident, the following major variations come to the forefront:

    Firstly, there is quite a bit of variation regarding the people, who were subjected to this punishment. According to one version, they were atheists, according to a second version, they were apostates, according to a third version, they were a group of people, who secretly used to practice idolatry and according to a fourth version, they were a group of Rawafidh [4], who believed in the divinity of `Ali (ra).

    Secondly, there is a significant difference between the reports regarding the incident itself. Although, the narratives given in Bukhari do not give any details of how the incident happened, yet Ibn Hajar has given a few narratives, which give some details of the happening. According to one version, when `Ali (ra) was informed regarding a people who considered him to be god, he called them and asked them to refrain from such blasphemy. They refused to comply. This went on for three days. Till, finally, `Ali (ra) ordered to dig a deep pit and burn a huge fire in it. The criminals were brought to the fire. `Ali (ra) told them that if they do not agree to refrain from their blasphemy, they would be thrown in the fire. They persisted in their refusal and were, subsequently, thrown in the fire. According to a second version, `Ali (ra) was informed of a people who secretly worshipped idols in a house. `Ali (ra) went to investigate the report. An idol was recovered from the house and, subsequently, the house was burnt to ashes. According to a third version, `Ali (ra) was informed of some apostates. He called for them. When they arrived, `Ali (ra) gave them food to eat and asked them to return to Islam. They refused. At their refusal, `Ali (ra) made them stand in a pit and killed them in it. Subsequently, he burnt them.

    These are some of the various versions of the incident as reported in books of history and Hadith. One may take whichever explanation he believes to be more plausible to be accurate.

    In my opinion, the second and the third versions of the incident are quite considerable. It seems that:

    1. After it had become evident that the house was secretly being used for idolatry, `Ali (ra) ordered that it be burnt down. However, due to a mistake on the part of one or more of the narrators, the incident has been reported in a way that it gives the impression that the house was burnt down with its inhabitants. Whereas, it may not have been so; or

    2. People were killed for their apostasy and later on their corpses were burnt to ashes. This is clearly implied in the third stated version of the incident.

    Nevertheless, if someone is not willing to accept any of the above explanations and is persistent that `Ali (ra) actually burnt these criminals to death, even then the most that can be said is that `Ali’s decision of burning the criminals to death was not correct, in view of the directive of the Prophet (pbuh) to the contrary. This, obviously, would amount to a criticism on `Ali’s decision – not a criticism on Islam.

    After all, `Ali (ra) was but a human being, he may have erred in his decision.

    I hope this helps.

    http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/why_did_ali_burn_some_apostates___by_understanding_islam

  7. mr bennet,

    i’ve been doing some more studying.

    http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1132&context=wmjowl&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dcrimes%2Bwith%2Bdeath%2Bpenalties%2Bin%2Bhudud%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft%3Aen-us%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26startIndex%3D%26startPage%3D1%26rlz%3D1I7ADFA_en#search=%22crimes%20death%20penalties%20hudud%22

    “Four of the seven hudud offenses are punishable by
    death. 3 These crimes are adultery (zina); apostasy (riddah); armed
    robbery (hirabah); and rebellion (baghy).4 Although punishment
    for hudud crimes is fixed, available affirmative defenses and
    interpretations of the requirements for the offenses differ among the
    schools of Islam.”

    everyone including your post says to stone adulterers. you sure you don’t want to arbogate the stoning of adulterers with 100 lashes by the 24th surah? do you speak arabic? if so how do you translate zina?

  8. Should not have been a battle to begin with.. Freedom of religion is just one of the things people need to respect..

  9. “Should not have been a battle to begin with.. Freedom of religion is just one of the things people need to respect..”

    As are dress codes in a work place. Unfortunately “freedom of religion” now seems to mean freedom to ride roughshod over any regulations.

  10. Allowed????? This is a god- given right !

  11. They were only forbidden to wear them for 1 year before the policy was changed. Then they had to stick a company logo on the head covering.
    I’m glad they can drop the logo, and I’m glad that the ban on coverings only lasted a year. It would have been more disturbing if MTA had continued the ban for 9 years in spite of protests.

  12. L.a. Messian,

    so you agree with the court ruling allowing sikh’s to carry their knives to high school?

  13. “Allowed????? This is a god- given right !”

    Which god? Sikhs and muslims have different gods

  14. Wow, what a non issue? ‘oh and can you cover up your skin or look less Middle-Eastern? Thanks’.

  15. “Wow, what a non issue?”

    I know, it’s crazy, my religion commands me to bare my breasts in mosques so that’s what I do

  16. I think the ban on face veil is a bit understandable why is it so controversial, but head scarf for muslim woman shouldn’t be banned at all since it’s a religion mandatory. The constitution provides freedom of religion, and I also think most private companies won’t have any problem with people wearing head scarf..

  17. “head scarf for muslim woman shouldn’t be banned at all since it’s a religion mandatory”

    Is it?

Have your say!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>