Female cop in Trinidad wins right to wear hijab on duty

Sharon Roop: Source: Facebook

(Trinidad Guardian) Fe­male Spe­cial Re­serve Po­lice (SRP) of­fi­cer, Sharon Roop, 39, yes­ter­day won the right to wear her hi­jab while in uni­form.

The High Court yes­ter­day struck down a rul­ing that barred fe­male Mus­lim po­lice of­fi­cers from wear­ing hi­jabs while on du­ty.

Roop, in a tele­phone in­ter­view short­ly af­ter the vic­to­ry, said she could not wait to wear her hi­jab and her uni­form to­geth­er.

“I did not want to have to choose be­tween my faith and my love of polic­ing,” Roop said.

Roop con­vert­ed to Is­lam back in 2009 while al­ready of SRP and sought per­mis­sion to ad the hi­jab to her uni­form. She wrote to then Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Stephen WIlliams but was ig­nored for about two years.

She then looked at her le­gal op­tions and re­tained Se­nior Coun­sel and for­mer at­tor­ney gen­er­al, Anand Ram­lo­gan to fight on her be­half.

“I am re­al­ly, re­al­ly hap­py with this re­sult,” she said.

Roop said, as an SRP, she had to deal with the men and as such want­ed her re­li­gion to be re­spect­ed while on du­ty.

“When you have to in­ter­act with the op­po­site sex, it is im­por­tant to wear the hi­jab,” she said.

Roop said she sent a pre-ac­tion pro­to­col let­ter to the CoP last year and that was the on­ly time she heard from that of­fice.

Yes­ter­day jus­tice Mar­garet Mo­hammed struck down the long­stand­ing rule against the head­wear by law en­force­ment of­fi­cers.

“I am just very hap­py that Mus­lim women can stand up now and be count­ed in the Trinidad and To­ba­go Po­lice Ser­vice,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to the judge­ment, Mo­hammed said that the in­ten­tion of the framers of the Con­sti­tu­tion was for an “evolv­ing plur­al so­ci­ety” where re­li­gious sym­bols were per­mit­ted.

Mo­hammed list­ed those re­li­gious sym­bols as the cross, the rosary, rak­sha su­tra, sin­door and hi­jabs which are per­mit­ted in pub­lic places.

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