(COLUMBUS, OH, 8/29/2003) - The Ohio office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Ohio) today called on national Catholic authorities to intervene in the case of a Muslim student at a Catholic high school in Ohio being denied the right to wear a religiously-mandated head scarf.

CAIR-Ohio also called on Regina High School to allow the student to return to class while this issue is being resolved. "The Student has attended this school for several years, and has a great deal invested into her education at this school, it would be very devastating for her to have to change school during her senior year of high school" said Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin Vice President of CAIR-Ohio, who attended a catholic school herself.

In a statement issued earlier today by Regina high school, Principal Burke stated "The school community will undertake a process that will allow for a review of policy." In response to this statement Dr. Mobin-Uddin stated "We appreciate the schools willingness to review its policies, but the most important issue at this time is the education of the student, and that is why we are asking the school to allow the student to attend classes until the policy in question has been reviewed."

The student, who was scheduled to attend Regina High School in South Euclid, Ohio, was sent home after coming to the school wearing her headscarf (Hijab). Regina High School Principal Sr. Maureen Burke told the student's parents that the scarf violates the school's dress code policy prohibiting head coverings. Burke also told CAIR that another Muslim student had in the past been unable to enroll at the school because of the policy. When asked whether the policy meant that no Muslim student wearing a head scarf could ever attend the school, Burke answered "correct."

There are an estimated 150,000 Muslims in Ohio, 7 million in the United States, and 1.2 billion worldwide.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 16 offices nationwide and in Canada.