Council on American-Islamic Relations Writes to EEOC About Massachusetts School

After a Massachusetts college bans face-covering clothing, Muslim organization strikes back.

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The Council on American-Islamic Relations wants to file a third-party complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after a Massachusetts college banned all clothing that covers a student's face, CAIR said in a letter to the EEOC on Wednesday.

The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services implemented its new policy around the same time that an alumnus of the college was arrested for plotting terrorist strikes. The school says the ban has nothing to do with the arrest of 2008 graduate Tarek Mehanna, but CAIR says that the policy "negatively impacts the religious rights" of the school's faculty and staff. There is no mention of students in CAIR's complaint letter.

"We believe this policy has a disproportionate impact on the religious rights of Muslim employees and is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing and other terms and conditions of employment," the letter reads. "The new policy allows for a medical exemption that we believe must be matched with an exemption for those whose religious beliefs include covering the face."

The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences office of communications could not be reached for comment. We'll update you once we hear from the school.

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