The headscarf controversy comes to the US. It’s a strange incident: it seems that this instructor had a policy against headgear in class, as it obstructed the view of other students. So he asked a Muslim girl to remove her headscarf. Now he has resigned under pressure, to the delight of the Council on American Islamic Relations. But was this really an anti-Islamic incident? From NBC4TV, with thanks to Twostellas:
An Antelope Valley College instructor resigned Thursday, a week after ordering a Muslim student to take off her religiously mandated head scarf or leave class, school officials said.
Robert Daniel, described as a part-time instructor, taught an introduction to computer science information course. He resigned in writing this morning, school officials said.
The college’s Board of Trustees was expected to decide Friday night what action to take against Daniel. The school said other instructors will be brought in to teach the two spring semester courses that had been assigned to Daniel.
Daniel could not be reached for comment.
Fajr Burhan is a 19-year-old electrical engineering student. She was born in Phoenix but her parents are from Syria. About five years ago, Burhan began wearing the traditional Muslim hajib head scarf.
Burhan said the garb had never been a problem at the school until last week, when Daniel told her to remove the hajib.
Daniel told her “to either stay and follow his rules (by removing the scarf) or leave the class,” Burhan said.
Burhan is in her last semester at Antelope Valley and hopes to graduate this year and transfer to UCI. To graduate, she needed to pass the course Daniel taught.
Burhan said Daniel made the demand knowing the scarf’s religious significance, although she acknowledged that Daniel told her he does not allow hats or headgear because they can block the view of other students.
After a discussion with Tom Miller, the school’s dean of business and computer studies, Burhan returned to class wearing the hajib, but said Daniel ignored her when she tried to answer questions.
Interim AVC President Jackie Fisher, who said the school does not have a dress code and has a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination, later apologized to Burhan.
Ra’id Faraj of the Southern California office of the Council on American- Islamic Relations applauded the move.
“It’s really bizarre that we would encounter this in a college,” Faraj said.