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Muslim Women Denied Firearm Licenses in South Africa Due To Their Headscarf

May 22, 2022

By Umamah Bakharia 

The South African Muslim Network (Samnet) has written a letter to the Minister of Police General Bheki Cele, demanding answers after reports that two Muslim women were refused gun licences because they were wearing headscarves.

It was widely reported that Maleeka Sayed and Rushda Desai appeared to have been denied gun license’s because they were wearing their head scarves according to their religion in their application photos.

 

Speaking to Radio Islam International, Samnet chairperson Dr Faisal Suliman says the governing party in KZN, the DA should look into this case.

“If this is the case, then clearly this is unfair discrimination. A Muslim woman should not have to suffer this not only the discrimination but the indignity, the insult to them,” says Dr Suliman.

According to Samnet, the remarks were made to the women informally.

“In writing they were not given any reason [on the rejection of their application],” says Dr Suliman.

According to South African law, photographs used for official documents like a drivers license or an identity document are permissible as long as the forehead to chin and cheek to cheek is visible.

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