The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has praised the signing into law of legislation that will end Oregon’s ban on teachers wearing Islamic head scarves or the religious attire of other faiths.
The lifting of the 87-year-long ban will go into effect after the 2010-11 school year and follows a February vote of 51-8 in the Oregon House of Representatives. To become law, the bill had to be signed by Governor Ted Kulongoski.
"This change in the law protects the rights of educators of all faiths," said CAIR national communications director Ibrahim Hooper.
He added that his organization has consistently defended the right of Americans of all faiths to wear religious attire in the workplace, in schools, in courtrooms and as customers in public venues such as banks.
Currently only Nebraska and Pennsylvania prohibit their teachers from wearing religious clothing at work, and CAIR has called on their legislators to "follow Oregon’s example of respect for religious freedom and diversity."
In addition to the Muslim organization, a number of interfaith groups, civil rights groups and bar association organizations, including The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, have joined in the appeal.