The Citadel dashed liberal hopes this week when it announced that it would not allow a female Muslim student to wear a hijab in contravention of its strict dress code.
According to WCSC-TV, officials from the school said that granting the exception for an unnamed Muslim student would work to the detriment of the military institution’s goals.
“While we hope the student will enroll in the college this fall, the commandant of cadets, after considerable review, determined the uniform exception cannot be granted,” a statement from Lt. Col. Jon Rosa, an official with The Citadel, read.
“The standardization of cadets in apparel, overall appearance, actions and privileges is essential to the learning goals and objectives of the college,” it continues. “This process reflects an initial relinquishing of self during which cadets learn the value of teamwork to function as a single unit.”
Lt. Col. Rosa also pointed out that The Citadel has many religious accommodations for students already.
“Cadet religious officers arrange transportation to churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship for those without cars,” he said. “Accommodations for prayer and dietary needs are common at the college.”
Officials at a mosque consulted by The Citadel were disappointed in the decision the institution made.
“If they would have allowed her to wear the scarf it would have been very positive in these current days of Islamic-phobia,” mosque member Ruby Abid said.
Suzanne Chisholm, a graduate of The Citadel, applauded the decision.
“I had to wear a uniform I didn’t want to wear,” Chisholm said. “I had to cut my hair. I had to follow a bunch of rules and regulations that I didn’t want to follow, but if I didn’t want to do those things then I shouldn’t have gone to the Citadel.”
The student is reportedly considering her legal options. Good luck on that one.
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