WASHINGTON - A Muslim woman said her boss fired her because she refused to remove her hijab at work.
Najaf Khan said the highly controversial comments recently in the political arena are making it harder for people of the Islamic faith and she sees her story as an example of that.
Khan was entering her third day on the job this past Monday as she walked in wearing her hijab at the Fair Oaks Dental Care in Fairfax, Va. She said her boss immediately took her into his office and told her she couldn't wear it.
Khan, who attends George Mason University, said she aspires to be a dentist and was excited to begin working at her new job last week.
She said she didn't wear her hijab to the office until this week and that is when her boss told her they wanted to keep a "neutral environment." Her employer asked her to remove it because the Islamic head scarf would offend patients and they wanted to keep religion out of the office.
Khan said she was told to remove it in order to keep her job.
"I was astonished because he had been saying I had been doing so well," she said. "I received an email Friday morning saying how much positive enthusiasm I was bringing into the dental office. So me going in with my head scarf, I didn't think it was going to be a big issue. I was completely aware that he might ask me, but I didn't know it would come down to the fact that if I wear it, I can't work there."
We reached out to Fair Oaks Dental Care for comment, but have not heard back.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is standing behind Khan and her story. They are calling on the dental office to reinstate her and offer her reasonable religious accommodations as mandated by law.
Khan said there is a lot of misinformation about the Islamic faith and she hopes her story will at least inform people so it does not happen again.