NY prisons sued over Muslim head covering ban

The US Department of Justice's civil rights division filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the New York Department of Correctional Services alleging the city's prisons discriminated against Muslim officers by barring them from wearing visible symbols of their faith on the job. The suit was filed Thursday in Manhattan on behalf of Abdus Samad N. Haqq, a prison guard from Brooklyn who was ordered in 2005 to stop wearing a kufi - a knitted skullcap that carries religious significance for many Muslim men - while at work. "Americans are not required to abandon their religious beliefs when they report for work," said Assistant Attorney General Wan J. Kim in a statement announcing the lawsuit.