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South Africa’s military permits hijab for Muslim girls beneath revised uniform coverage

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The South African Defence Power’s determination to revise its costume coverage got here after Main Fatima Isaacs challenged rules limiting spiritual put on within the nation’s equality court docket. — AFP/Marco Longari
  • South Africa’s military agrees to amend its coverage, permitting any Muslim girls to cowl their heads whereas on responsibility
  • Determination comes after Main Fatima Isaacs challenged the military in South Africa’s equality court docket for not amending costume coverage
  • Main Isaacs was criminally charged in June 2018 with failing to obey lawful directions and wilful defiance

JOHANNESBURG: The South African military has permitted Muslim girls to put on hijab, or headscarves, as a part of their official uniform beneath its revised uniform coverage, a spokesperson confirmed on Thursday, after one of many officers took the navy and rules limiting spiritual put on to the nation’s equality court docket.

The South African Defence Power (SANDF) agreed to amend its coverage earlier this week, permitting any Muslim girls who selected to cowl their heads whereas on responsibility to take action with out repercussions.

WATCH: Hijab falls off lady footballer, opposition gamers make fantastic gesture

In January final 12 months, a navy court docket dropped fees towards Main Fatima Isaacs, an officer who had been indicted for sporting a hijab beneath her navy beret.

“The Military Court withdrew charges against Major Isaacs. She is allowed to wear her head wrap subject to certain restrictions,” says the Authorized Sources Centre. — Twitter/@LRC_SouthAfrica

Main Isaacs was criminally charged in June 2018 with failing to obey lawful directions and wilful defiance after her superior requested her to take away her headband when in uniform.

In a press release, the South Africa-based Authorized Sources Centre, which represented Isaacs, stated the officer had been “criminally charged with three counts of contravening section 19(1) of the Military Discipline Code: disobeying lawful commands or orders”.

A navy court docket on the Fortress of Good Hope close to Cape City withdrew all fees in January 2020, permitting Isaacs to exceptionally put on a good black head wrap on responsibility so long as it didn’t cowl her ears.

Learn extra: British-Muslim physician Farah Roslan ‘so joyful’ after inventing disposable hijab

Nevertheless, the South African military didn’t amend its costume coverage — formally referred to as the “Amendment No 5: Wearing of Religious and Medical Adornments by SANDF Members in Uniform (2002) (Religious Dress Policy)” — prompting Isaacs to mount a problem in South Africa’s equality court docket.

“The SANDF dress regulation was updated to allow the wearing of headscarves by Muslim (women) according to stipulations in the dress regulations,” spokesperson Mafi Mgobozi informed AFP through WhatsApp on Thursday.

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The Authorized Sources Centre welcomed the choice through Twitter on Wednesday and stated it was withdrawing the equality court docket case.

It consequently “filed a Notice of Withdrawal in the Equality Court” and “will therefore not be pursuing this matter further as the current SANDF policy no longer discriminates against Muslim women in the military”.

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