South African Army allows hijab as part of uniform

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Major Fatima Isaacs was charged with willful defiance in June 2018.

Johannesburg, South Africa:

The South African military has changed its clothing policy to allow Muslim women to wear headscarves as part of their uniform, an army spokesman said Thursday.

In January last year, a military tribunal dropped charges against an officer who was charged with wearing a hijab under her beret.

Major Fatima Isaacs was charged with willful defiance and failure to comply with legal instructions in June 2018 after her supervisor asked her to remove her uniform headscarf.

A military tribunal at the Castle of Good Hope near Cape Town withdrew all charges in January 2020 and allowed Isaacs to exceptionally wear tight black headgear while on duty, as long as it did not cover her ears.

However, the military did not change its clothing policy and prompted Isaacs to file a lawsuit in the South African Equality Court over regulations restricting religious clothing.

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The South African Defense Force (SANDF) finally agreed to change its policy this week and allow all Muslim women to cover their heads while on duty.

“The SANDF dress code has been updated to allow Muslims (women) to wear headscarves according to the dress code provisions,” Mafi Mgobozi spokesman told AFP on Thursday via WhatsApp.

The South Africa-based Legal Resources Center, which represented Isaacs, welcomed the decision on Wednesday via Twitter, saying it would withdraw the Equal Opportunities Court case.

(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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