Charges Against Muslim Major Have Been Dropped

According to JacarandaFM, on Wednesday, “The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) has welcomed a decision by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to withdraw charges against Major Fatima Isaacs.”

Last year, a case was made against Major Isaacs, after she refused to remove the headscarf she was wearing under her uniform beret. The headscarf reportedly violated the dress code set out by the SANDF. The Major, a Muslim woman, was being accused of “wilful defiance and disobeying a lawful command”.

IOL said that labour expert Nazeema Mohammed, who has been assisting Isaacs with her case said, “It is not only a win for Muslims and Muslim women but it’s a win for South Africa. It’s a win against discrimination and a win about the rights we struggled for that can so easily be stomped on by the state which is supposed to protect those rights.”

The LRC’s Amy-Leigh Payne, said that the ruling is that she would be allowed to wear her headscarf with her uniform, only if it is tight fitting, black in colour and does not cover her ears, as reported by JacarandaFM.

Payne further explains that even though the charges have been dropped, it is a small victory due to the presence of the restrictions. Payne says that the LRC will be going to the Equality Court, for an application to challenge the policy.