Citadel Will Not Allow Muslim Hijab

Citadel Will Not Allow Muslim Hijab

Citadel Will Not Allow Muslim Hijab

WCIV ABC News 4 out of Charleston, South Carolina reports that The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, has denied the request of an incoming Muslim student to wear her hijab. In a statement released by The Citadel, under the name of President Lt. Gen. John Rosa, the college notes that:

the decision to reject the request came from an “essential” need to standardize the appearance of the cadets regardless of their religious requirements.

“This process reflects an initial relinquishing of self during which cadets learn the value of teamwork to function as a single unit. Upon graduation, The Citadel’s graduates are prepared to enter a life committed to principled leadership in military service and civilian careers,” Rosa said in the statement.

Nothing screams the “initial relinquishing of self” like asking an entire college to change to accommodate your personal needs.

Incoming freshman cadets (knobs) at The Citadel
Incoming freshman cadets (knobs) at The Citadel

On April 17, 2016, in a post “The Hijab and The Citadel”, I posited that it is not about the hijab. I questioned the motives of anyone who is not committed to The Citadel rules applying to the school

Imagine, if you will a young Quaker man wants to become a member of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets (Citadel Cadet). After his knob (freshman) year, he decides he no longer wants to carry a rifle during parade. It violates his religious beliefs. The rifle is inoperable and he cannot fire it. It still violates his religious beliefs. Quaker cadet knew before he applied to the school that carrying a rifle was part of cadet life.

Nick Pinelli, formerly a cadet senior and, as of last weekend, now a graduate wrote:

Currently, the Citadel is exhausting resources and man-hours to accommodate a woman who will be attending this school next semester. She will be the first cadet authorized to wear a ḥijāb, as well as full body covering when the uniform does not conceal the entirety of her body. Time and money is now being spent figuring out how the Citadel can alter rules and regulations to accommodate her needs. The school is even exhausting resources to research which company to place her in, so they ensure she is in the most accepting company in the Corps. No final decisions have been made, but time and effort are being consumed, nonetheless.

Not just the hijab, but a “full body covering when the uniform does not conceal the entirety of her body”. What PT in a burqa? That will make those spirits runs a real team building activity. Wearing anything but the barest necessities in Charleston in September is dangerous to one’s health. Can you say high humidity in the low country? Sure you can.

Female cadets in PT uniform.
Female cadets in PT uniform.

So what is the family going to do now?

Of course. File a lawsuit. Tonight, I learned a new word from my Victory Girls blogging sister, Jennifer Davis, the word here is LAWFARE. Just what is lawfare?

General Dunlap defined “lawfare” as the “use of law as a weapon of war,” which he described as “the newest feature of 21st century combat.” The paper gave many examples of relatively weak U.S. adversaries using legal principles dishonestly and strategically to “handcuff the United States” in an effort to “exploit our values to defeat us.” After cautioning against overreaction and insisting on the importance of adherence to the law of armed conflict, he concluded that “there is disturbing evidence that the rule of law is being hijacked into just another way of fighting (lawfare), to the detriment of humanitarian values as well as the law itself.”

Fear of lawsuits. Caving under the pressure. The cost of the lawsuit in monetary and public perception terms.

The WCIV ABC 4 article quotes Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR (Council of American-Islamic Relations):

“We believe the desire to maintain an outdated ‘tradition,’ which was the same argument used to initially deny admittance to African-Americans and women, does not justify violating a student’s constitutional rights. Our nation’s military currently accommodates religious attire in the form of headscarves, beards and turbans. The Citadel should offer the same accommodations,” said Council on American-Islamic Relations Senior Staff Attorney William Burgess. “No student should be forced to choose between her faith and an education that can facilitate future service to her nation.”

What outdated “tradition”, Mr. Hooper? The one that has women covering themselves because Muslim men cannot control their base instincts? The tradition that bends everyone else to their will? Islam? Spare me.

The is lawfare. Thank goodness that The Citadel chose to stand firm. Time for all of us to stand firm. No to hijabs and burqas. No to change just because one individual desires it. Or, is being used for a cause.

Thank you also to Nick Pinelli for alerting us all to this issue and for taking the incoming.

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  • Merle says:

    Should be an interesting trial.


  • GWB says:

    No to change just because one individual desires it.

    Too late. That started with the homosexual movement.
    You could argue it started with feminism, since the primary method of both was promulgating category errors – making an individual case for an entire category, when the individual is not representative.

    • Toni Williams says:


      Of course, you are. I think it was the women’s movement in the early part of the twentieth century.


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