This Christian Woman Fought to Wear a Headscarf in Driver’s License Photo

The Alabama Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR-Alabama have recently spoken in favor of a Christian woman fighting to wear her headscarf for a driver’s license photograph.
Yvonne Allen was told, upon trying to renew her license, that she must remove her head covering, the clerk allegedly having explained to her that only Muslim women are allowed this religious exception.
Although Christian, Yvonne Allen chooses the headscarf for religious reasons, just like many Muslim women and Sikh men choose to wear head coverings.

Although Christian, Yvonne Allen chooses the headscarf for religious reasons, just like many Muslim women and Sikh men choose to wear head coverings.

Although Christian, Yvonne Allen chooses the headscarf for religious reasons, just like many Muslim women and Sikh men choose to wear head coverings.
She fought, rightly, against this encroachment on her rights with a law suit filed on her behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama. Which referred to the policy change that took place in 2004 that allowed religious coverings to be worn in driver license photos. An allowance is also made for any medical reasons.
The Executive Director of CAIR-Alabama Khaula Hadeed said, “Alabamans of all faiths should have the right to wear religious apparel in driver’s license photos. The right to practice one’s faith is a universal right, one that should not be limited to Muslims and Sikhs.”

“Alabamans of all faiths should have the right to wear religious apparel in driver’s license photos. The right to practice one’s faith is a universal right, one that should not be limited to Muslims and Sikhs.”

It is much easier for the average individual to accept the idea of a Muslim woman wearing the hijab or a Sikh man wearing a turban, as the western world often only views these communities through a narrow paradigm.
Of course, women covering their hair can be found in many cultures, traditions and religious practices. There are Catholic nuns and Orthodox Jews who choose to cover, a way a woman chooses to dress and express her beliefs and modesty is an extremely personal decision.
This Alabama case is an important incident, as it widens society’s perspectives on the relationship between Islam, Christianity and the Abrahamic faiths. Such parallels might surprise people or at the very worst make them feel uncomfortable, but it is a truth.
It confronts the narrow views of Islam and the very common practice of othering Muslims for their beliefs and ways of life. Instead Christians should look within their own diverse and multifaceted heritage when it comes to religion.
While the practice of women covering their hair in church is not widely maintained in the west, in Christian communities around the world it is a common sight. A Westerner might not be able to tell the difference between a Christian woman and a Muslim Woman in the Middle East simply by their dress.

This Alabama case is an important incident, as it widens society’s perspectives on the relationship between Islam, Christianity and the Abrahamic faiths.

A Christian woman in Tuskegee, Alabama, carving out her own space and identity and fighting for her religious freedom and civil liberties is an incredibly significant event. With Christian women having a long history of covering their hair, alongside Jewish women also, the case stands that why can’t these women also cover their heads in official photographs like a driver’s license?
There seems to be no real reason in hindering Yvonne Allen in this pursuit.
Shed the preconceived ideas of Islam and Christianity, and let women wear what they please.

Written By Muslim Girl Staff Writer Roda Musa