School drops Muslim girl over scarf

Aug. 28, 2003 at 2:00 PM
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CLEVELAND, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- A 17-year-old Muslim girl, about to begin her senior year at a Cleveland area Catholic school, has been dismissed because of a head scarf.

Amal Jamal was informed that she violated her Catholic school dress code by wearing a Muslim headscarf, or hajib, and thus was no longer welcome at Regina High School.

"I was in shock; I didn't understand," the soft-spoken Amal told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "All along, they gave me a room to pray in. They asked me questions about Islam. They always accepted me for who I was. Now they have decided it is against school policy to wear my hajib."

Amal said she was stung that no administrator, teacher or student had called her or tried to help.

"I feel very bad about this situation. I've agonized over it," said Sister Maureen Burke, Regina's principal for 12 years. "But, the uniform issue is very important to who we are as a Catholic school."

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