Religious discrimination cases at home and abroad: News Roundup

Religious discrimination made headlines this week – in a Texas public school, a Minnesota plant, European supermarkets and elsewhere. Read on to find out who’s claiming it and who’s trying to prevent it…

After a year of waiting, a Native American boy in Texas can finally go back to public school without having his religious freedoms violated. Back in 2008, the ACLU brought to court the case of a 5-year-old Native American kindergartener who was suspended from school for wearing his hair in two long braids (in the tradition of his family’s Native American religious beliefs) and therefore violating the school’s policy that all male students must have short hair. The district court found the school district guilty of discrimination, and last week, a federal appeals court upheld the lower court’s ruling.
 
Charles Haynes of the First Amendment Center weighs in, in “When The First Amendment Doesn’t Help, Texas Will” (North Country Gazette). 
 
In early 2010, Electrolux, a Swedish appliance manufacturer adopted a policy at its Minnesota plant preventing employees from having any food on the production floor. This week, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked that Electrolux make an exception for the plant’s 300 Muslim employees, so that they can bring a snack into the plant and break their fasts during Ramadan (which begins August 1st).
 
CAIR-MN Civil Rights Director Taneeza Islam said:
 
 
 
Jewish and Muslim leaders claim that the European Union is guilty of “naked discrimination” for ordering the labeling of all kosher and halal meat. MEP’s overwhelmingly voted to label the meat in order to inform secular customers concerned about animal rights. Animals killed for kosher and halal are bled to death rather than stunned. The group of faith leaders said “it was wrong to single out meat acceptable to some communities while not requiring the identification of conventional methods of slaughter” (The Independent).
 
 
Speaking of burqas, here’s some more on France’s passing of the ban:
As you know, we’ve been covering the debate around Cordoba House, the Islamic Cultural Center which may or may not be built near Ground Zero. The arguments are heating up on both sides:
 
To finish up, a few more headlines: