Is there any doubt as to the outcome?

The Citadel is considering a request from an admitted student that she be allowed to wear a hijab in keeping with her Muslim faith, a move that would be an unprecedented exception to the school’s longstanding uniform requirements.

If the request for the traditional Muslim hair covering is granted, it apparently would be the first exception made to the Citadel’s uniform, which all cadets at the storied public military college in South Carolina are required to wear at nearly all times. (At beaches, for example, college rules stipulate that, “Cadets will change into appropriate swimwear upon arrival and change back into uniform when departing.”) A spokeswoman said that to her knowledge, in its nearly 175-year history, the school has never granted a religious, or other, accommodation that resulted in a change to the uniform

… (Current Citadel Cadet) Pinelli wrote about a cadet whom he admires, a young man with cerebal palsy. “As you can imagine, one with such a physical condition would face challenges meeting the standard for physical fitness. Instead of showing up seeking a different set of rules, he jumped right into a challenge that was a perpetually uphill battle. Instead of saying he shouldn’t have to pass the PT test because of his disability, he failed it time and again and suffered the ramifications of holding himself to the same standard as the rest of the Corps.” He did not give up, and ultimately passed the test.

I realize that I am approaching this from the perspective of a godless heathen, but this is a simple choice. You are either part of the Corps, or you aren’t. There is a reason for the uniform. It symbolizes that the group is one, a team that is identical in appearance and motivation. When you demand a uniform exemption, you are basically saying that your religion is more important to you than the Corps. I don’t care if you’re a Jew with a yarmulke, a Sikh with a turban, a Muslim with a hijab, or a Catholic with rosary beads. You can dress as you wish on your own time. If you VOLUNTARILY join the Corps, you abide by the rules of the Corps.

If one wishes to practice religion, they are certainly free to do so. Whether that involves sacrificing goats, dancing around a bonfire nude, or handling snakes, enjoy yourself. This is America, and you can have whatever wacky religious beliefs you want. But it shouldn’t influence the rest of the group, and by demanding this exemption, that’s precisely what they are doing. If a religious belief is so important to you that you can’t abide dressing in the required uniform without your religious headgear, then, in my opinion, you shouldn’t be allowed to join. Go to another school and dress however you want.


And it seems that every other cadet has managed to abide by the rules and regulations. Indeed, according to the article, there have been several Muslim students who attended the Citadel and managed to conform to the rules of the school with no issue. Of course, there always has to be one special princess who starts laying demands on the school. The Citadel made a huge mistake in even considering this. They should have flatly turned down the request right off the bat. All this does is ensure more scrutiny, and now, I’m sure, all of the various activist groups are getting involved. There’s no doubt in my mind that the school will eventually cave, and this will be seen as great “progress.”