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Group says bank security is religious discrimination

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TULSA, Okla. - An advocacy group is asking a Tulsa bank to change a policy the group believes is “inappropriate and discriminatory.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said a Muslim woman was confronted at the bank because she was wearing a religious head covering.  

The Valley National Bank has a “no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses” safety policy.

CAIR-OK Executive Director Adam Soltani believes the policy singles out Muslim women and other people of faith who wear religious headgear.

"All customers should be treated equally regardless of their faith or religious practices," Soltani said.

The bank put the policy in place six years ago.

An official said this is the first time they have ever had a problem with the rule, which they said is a security measure.

Valley National Bank released this statement:

“This policy of the OBA (Oklahoma Banker’s Association) adopted by Valley Bank is designed to protect both employees and customers from harm from any person entering the bank that cannot be easily identified. If a customer or prospective customer enters Valley National Bank wearing a hat, a hood, or sunglasses, it is the bank’s policy to have an employee accompany the customer while in the bank to ensure safety for its employees and others customers."

CAIR-OK said they believe there are other security policies the bank can implement that do not infringe on religious beliefs.