(RNS) -- A female Muslim firefighter in Maryland has won the right towear a religious head scarf while at work, and state officials in Idahohave agreed to allow a Christian woman to wear a head scarf in herdriver's license photo. Stacy Tobing, a seven-year veteran of the Montgomery County Fire andRescue Service who converted to Islam last year, began wearing atraditional "hijab" at work in June, but was placed on administrativeleave while fire department officials evaluated department policy on theissue, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "We were worried about what would happen in the event of a fire orif we were to run into an unruly patient who might want to reach out andgrab her," Fire Administrator Gordon Aoyagi told the Washington Post. But according to that newspaper, "Tobing showed her supervisors aspecial head scarf held together with Velcro that rips away if pulled.She also proved she could take off the scarf and don protective headwearin seconds if forced to battle a fire." Under the agreement reached July 12, Tobing can wear adark blue or white head scarf while on duty, and when she needs to wearprotective clothing she can replace the head scarf with a fireproof hoodand helmet. In a similar case, the Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles hasdecided to permit a Christian woman to wear a religious head scarf inher driver's license photograph. Janet Schmid had been told she could not be photographed wearing thehead covering because doing so would violate a state mandate that doesnot allow driver's license photographs in which the face is "disguisedor otherwise concealed," according to the Rutherford Institute, anonprofit group that focuses on defending constitutional and humanrights. After the institute's attorneys met with Idaho TransportationDepartment officials, Schmid received a waiver recognizing her religiousreasons for wearing the head covering. Meanwhile, the American Jewish Committee, the American JewishCongress and the Anti-Defamation League have withdrawn their supportfrom a lawsuit filed by a Muslim woman who claimed she was asked torefrain from wearing her head scarf at work. The groups removed their support when the Council onAmerican-Islamic Relations joined to file a friend-of-the-court brief insupport of Zeinab Ali. Ali wants the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an appellate court'sdecision to dismiss her employment discrimination claim against AlamoRent-A-Car, according to the American Jewish Committee. The committee called the American-Islamic council an "extremistMuslim group that condones terrorism." Joining with the council "wouldbe to legitimize an organization that condones terrorism," something thethree organizations "cannot do," the committee said.
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