DISCRIMINATION: Facing Anti-Muslim Discrimination - a "Know Your Rights" pamphlet circulated by The ACLU of Rhode Island.

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'DISCRIMINATION: Facing Anti-Muslim Discrimination' Pamphlet

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Know Your Rights: Facing Anti-Muslim Discrimination

Recently, there has been a particular rise in instances of discrimination against American Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim. As a result, we have prepared this resource to prepare you and inform you about YOUR rights.

At the Workplace

You have the right to be free from discrimination and harassment—
State and federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of religion, among other protected classes. An employer can also be liable for religious harassment of an employee if the harassment is so severe that it creates a hostile work environment.

You have the right to have some religious practices accommodated at work—
An employer must provide reasonable accommodations for the religious practices of employees. An accommodation is not reasonable if it will cause the employer undue hardship.  

In Public Accommodations and Housing

You have the right to enjoy public accommodations without harassment or discrimination—
Public accommodations cannot turn you away based on your religion, race, color, or national origin, including based on your religious appearance or dress. Public accommodations include, but are not limited to, such places as restaurants, hotels, concert halls, arenas and government-run facilities. You cannot be denied full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities or privileges provided at these places.

You have the right to be free from discrimination when leasing or purchasing a home—
Federal and state housing laws prohibit discrimination in the rental, sale, and financing of homes because of your religion, race, color, or national origin, including based on your religious appearance or dress. Such discrimination can include landlords or brokers refusing to rent or sell you a home, charging you more, or offering different terms and conditions because of your faith.

At a Public School

You have the right to be safe from harassment and discrimination—
Public school officials must maintain a school environment free of religious harassment by school officials and other students. Additionally, schools cannot disparage your faith or make anti-Muslim remarks, or deny you the same privileges provided to other students.

You have the right to privately express your faith in school—
You may pray individually or in groups and discuss your religious views with your peers during student activity times (lunch or recess), provided you are not disruptive

You have the right to be free from school-sponsored prayer or other impositions of religion—
School officials nay not include prayer in class or school events, promote religion in the school setting, teach religious doctrine as truth, or display religious symbols and messages for non-educational reasons.

At the Airport

You have the right to be free from discriminatory questioning—
If you are a U.S. Citizen you do not have to answer any intrusive questions without a lawyer present. If you are a lawful permanent resident, your right to talk to a lawyer depends on the circumstances.

You have the right to be free from discriminatory stops and searches—
You cannot be selected for a personal search or secondary inspection based on your religion, race, national origin, gender, ethnicity, or political beliefs. If an officer searches and/or confiscates your laptop or cell phone, write down their name and get a receipt.

You have the right to be free from discriminatory removal by airline employees—
An airplane pilot may refuse to fly a passenger if he or she reasonably believes that the passenger may be a threat to flight safety. However, they may not question you or refuse to allow you on a flight because of biased stereotypes.

Religious Freedom for Prisoners

Prison officials cannot place excessive burdens on prisoners’ ability to practice their sincerely held religious beliefs—
Depending on the facts, this could mean that prison officials must provide certain accommodations for certain grooming or dress practices (like beards or kufis), foods (for example, kosher or halal diets), religious literature, or worship practices.

You have the right to be free from official prayer or other impositions of religion—
Prison officials cannot impose religious beliefs on you, penalize you for refusing to take part in religious activities, or treat some religions more favorably than other religions.

In the Courtroom

A Rhode Island Supreme Court decision has held that individuals have the right to wear a prayer cap in the courtroom, notwithstanding a general ban on wearing hats in court. You are entitled to an interpreter in the courtroom if you need one.

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