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January 25, 2013

State banks recognize religious rights by revisiting policies

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“It is wonderful that the OBA recognizes that concern for safety and the right of individuals to wear religious headdress are not mutually exclusive and that, accordingly, bank employees are being educated about the appropriate way to deal with the religious public,” he said.

In response to the meeting, the OBA published two articles in their trade newspaper, Oklahoma Banker, revisiting the “No Hats, No Hoods, No Sunglasses” policy and offering suggestions on how member banks can respect the religious requirements of customers without sacrificing security.

Mary Beth Guard, with the OBA compliance team, wrote, “(I)f someone came in with a ski mask to cash a check or open an account, you wouldn’t hesitate to tell them they would need to remove it so you could take a gander at them, but when the head covering is worn for religious purposes, a more sensitive approach is required.”

“CAIR-OK and the ACLU of Oklahoma want to express our appreciation to the OBA for their willingness to meet with us, and we welcome any calls from banks around the state to assist with their religious diversity training so their staffs are able to treat each of their customers with the respect they deserve,” Soltani said.

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