The Council on American-Islamic Relations (C.A.I.R) is asking an Omaha bank to adjust their security policies to allow Muslim women wearing a religious scarf – or hijab- to enter without having to remove them. This after an Omaha woman was asked on Tuesday to remove her hijab at the Security National Bank at 78th and Cass Street. The woman says she was discriminated against and was emotionally distraught by the experience.
Security National Bank officials released a statement that they respect everyone in the community and this was in no way intended to be discriminatory and if they caused offense in any way they are sorry. Also in the statement:
“For security reasons, our policy for all walk-in customers is to remove all face, eye and head covering to allow our employees and security cameras to have a clear view of each person entering the bank. We routinely ask individuals to remove their hats, scarves and sunglasses prior to entering. This is done in an effort to keep our customers and employees safe.” There is a sign on the door asking customers to comply with their regulations.
Ibrahim Hooper is the National Communications Director for C.A.I.R. and says, “Bank officials are responding pretty well in this situation. They’ve reached out to us and are working on language for a policy change that would allow anyone to go on into a branch as long as their face is fully visible. That is all we really request.” He is optimistic that a solution can be worked out.
Omaha police were called to the bank Tuesday afternoon by the woman but no reports were filed.