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Muslim Woman In Virginia Cries 'Discrimination' But Former Employer Denies It

One Muslim woman is furious after being fired from her new job because she refused to take off her head scarf. She says her employer discriminated against her, but her employer says it's not true. She may just be looking for attention.

Najaf Khan of Northern Virginia was starting her third day on the job at Fair Oaks Dental Care when her employer, the dentist, asked her to remove her head scarf. Najaf refused, insisting that she couldn't compromise her religion. Her employer offered her an ultimatum: take off the hijab, or lose your job.

"I was astonished because he (boss) had been saying I had been doing so well. I received an email Friday morning (July 29) saying how much positive enthusiasm I was bringing into the dental office," she told Fox News. She continued to refuse to remove her hijab and the dentist held true to his threat. He fired her.

The Muslim woman immediately contacted the media to report what she feels was discrimination. "I was really upset. The day that it happened, I was devastated," she said.

She also went to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and they put forth a statement condemning the dentist. "No employee should face termination because of his or her faith or religious practices. We call on Fair Oaks Dental Care to reinstate the Muslim employee and to offer her reasonable religious accommodation as mandated by law," the statement read.

The dentist, Dr. Chuck Joo, admits he gave his employee an ultimatum but says it wasn't discrimination. Joo says that he requires all his staff to wear a uniform consisting of scrubs. For sanitary purposes, he wouldn't allow her to wear her head scarves from home because the office is a surgical environment, but he did say she could wear a surgical head covering.

The dentist says he also likes to keep his office a religiously neutral zone.

Joo further noted that the Muslim woman did not wear a head scarf when she came for an interview, nor did she wear one for her first two days on the job. She didn't ask if wearing a hijab would be a problem. If she had worn it or mentioned it earlier, he would have explained the policy to her.

Khan admits that she didn't wear any head covering on her first couple of days on the job or at the interview when she met Joo. Some have said that her hijab couldn't have been that essential a part of her religious practices if she could pick and choose when she feels like wearing it.

Khan insists, however, that she was a victim of discrimination. “I didn’t think it was going to be a big issue. I was completely aware he might ask me, but I didn’t know it would come down to the fact that if I wear it, I can’t work there.”

She’s not actually looking to get her job back; she says she wouldn’t be happy working there after this. But she does want to raise awareness about discrimination against Muslims.

Source: NBC Washington, Independent
Photo: NBC Washington, Fox9

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