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NCJ Number: 201691 Find in a Library
Title: Articles of Faith
Journal: Security Management  Volume:47  Issue:7  Dated:July 2003  Pages:136-138,140
Author(s): Jeremy Kitabjian
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 4
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides an overview of some religious practices -- notably those of Sikhs, Muslims, and Orthodox Jews -- that affect adherents' dress and customs that may require security accommodations without sacrificing safety.
Abstract: All Sikhs refrain from cutting their hair and wear turbans, which are religiously mandated not to be removed in public. Should security personnel require a Sikh to remove his turban (security procedures typically require the removal of headwear for a search), it would be an affront to his dignity. Some Sikhs carry a small replica of a ceremonial knife called a "kirpan" embedded inside their turbans. This may be noticed by a metal detector. Some Sikhs carry a full-sized kirpan that usually has a blade of 3 inches in length. These may be carried in a man's waistband or pocket or in a woman's handbag. Muslims traditional dress includes a small, cup-like cap called a "topi" in Pakistani, or a "qufi" in Arabic. This head covering is a sign of humility before God, and Muslims believe they can perform at a higher level while wearing the cap. Muslims do not object to removing the topi for a cursory check. Islam dictates that clothing be loose and long-sleeved to conceal the figure. Many Muslim women wear a "hijab" or headscarf to cover their hair. To be asked to remove the hijab in public, especially by a man, is an insult to a Muslim woman's dignity and the tenets of her faith. At all times, Orthodox Jewish men wear a "yarmulke," a close-fitting head or skullcap. It is not uncommon for some Orthodox Jewish men to wear a double head covering, such as a fedora, over the yarmulke; however, they do not mind removing their head coverings for security check. The security challenge regarding Orthodox Jews is the "tefillin," or small religiously significant boxes worn by or carried in the bags of Orthodox male Jews. These boxes measure several inches square and are sewn shut with heavy thread. They contain a parchment inscribed with scripture and cannot be opened except by a qualified Jewish scribe. Married Orthodox Jewish women always cover their heads in public and will not uncover them unless it is to another woman or in private. Revealing their hair in public is a disavowal of their modesty. This article describes detailed security procedures that allow for an escalation of intrusiveness when there are clear signs of a security threat, such as a weapon or metallic object. As the intrusiveness escalates, privacy procedures and the gender of security personnel will come into play.
Main Term(s): Crime prevention training
Index Term(s): Counter-terrorism tactics; Counter-terrorism training; Facility security; Islamic law; Religion; Security management; Security surveillance systems; Security training
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