Update: Religious Coverings Will be Allowed in Alabama License Photos

February 23, 2004

Source: Hindustan Times


On February 23, 2004 Hindustan Times reported, "The Sikhs and the Muslims have won their battle over a US state order against the wearing of turbans and head scarves while being photographed for driving licences. Following a vigorous campaign by the two communities -- and a threat to file a class action lawsuit -- the Alabama state has changed its controversial rule on headgears and head coverings. Several Muslim women and Sikh men had been denied driving licences in Alabama in recent weeks because of their refusal to take off head scarves or turbans while being photographed. The new policy, to take effect from Monday, says turbans and head scarves are acceptable for religious beliefs and medical reasons... Both the communities have hailed Alabama’s reversal as a victory for religious freedom. Some activists view it as a possible forerunner in the larger battle being waged in France against the new law barring the wearing of turbans and head scarves in schools."