See, a uniform is supposed to be uniform. It is supposed to convey the idea that all those who wear it are engaged in a common enterprise that is greater than their individual proclivities. To allow Muslim cadets wear hijabs would be to deny the very nature and purpose of the uniform itself, and to allow an expression of the assertion that the cadet’s allegiance to Islam is greater than her allegiance to the Citadel or the U.S. military, which is doubtless true, but not something that the Citadel or the U.S. military ought to be in the business of encouraging.
“Family considers suit after Citadel rejects student’s hijab request,” by Sam Tyson and Stacy Jacobson, WCIV, May 10, 2016 (thanks to Elizabeth):
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — An American Muslim student admitted to the Class of 2020 Corps of Cadets at The Citadel will not be allowed to wear a religious headscarf with the military college’s standard uniform.
In a statement released by Citadel President Lt. Gen. John Rosa, the decision to reject the request came from an “essential” need to standardize the appearance of the cadets regardless of their religious requirements.
“This process reflects an initial relinquishing of self during which cadets learn the value of teamwork to function as a single unit. Upon graduation, The Citadel’s graduates are prepared to enter a life committed to principled leadership in military service and civilian careers,” Rosa said in the statement.
Rosa says while the request was rejected, religious beliefs are respected at The Citadel and freshman cadets meet with a number of faith-based organizations from the community. The school also offers rides to and from places of worship and accommodates dietary and prayer requirements.
“The diversity of religions and cultural backgrounds represented in the Corps enriches the overall cadet experience and better prepares graduates to become principled leaders in all walks of life, underpinned by The Citadel’s core values of honor, duty and respect,” Rosa said.
A spokesman for the family of a newly-accepted Muslim student at the Citadel says the prospective cadet is disappointed that the school has rejected her request to wear a head covering as part of her uniform.
Ibrahim Hooper with the [Hamas-linked] Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington said he spoke with the family Tuesday morning after Citadel officials called to tell the woman she could not wear a hijab. Hooper said the woman will not attend the Charleston school this fall unless there is a change. He also said the family is considering legal options.
“We believe the desire to maintain an outdated ‘tradition,’ which was the same argument used to initially deny admittance to African-Americans and women, does not justify violating a student’s constitutional rights. Our nation’s military currently accommodates religious attire in the form of headscarves, beards and turbans. The Citadel should offer the same accommodations,” said [Hamas-linked] Council on American-Islamic Relations Senior Staff Attorney William Burgess. “No student should be forced to choose between her faith and an education that can facilitate future service to her nation.”…