(ATLANTA, GA - 12/11/2018) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today congratulated Genevra M. Wilson—an American Muslim woman who serves in the United States Navy Reserves—for her elevation to the post of Chief Petty Officer, and for winning approval to continue wearing a hijab with her new uniform.
On July 27th, 2018, CAIR-Georgia sent a letter to the Navy seeking approval for Chief Petty Officer Wilson's religious accommodation request. Wilson continued to wear her hijab while waiting for official approval, which she finally received last month.
SEE: CAIR-Georgia Letter to United States Navy
Chief Petty Officer Wilson appears to be the first Muslim woman in the history of the United States Navy to serve at that rank while wearing a hijab.
In a statement, CAIR-Georgia executive director Edward Ahmed Mitchell
"We congratulate Chief Petty Officer Genevra M. Wilson on this historic elevation to her current post, and we thank the U.S. Navy Reserves for approving her request to wear a hijab with her new uniform. By successfully standing up for her rights, Chief Wilson serves as an inspiration to people of all faiths. Chief Wilson also serves as a living reminder that American Muslims play an integral role in every aspect of our nation. We pray that God guides Chief Wilson to continue standing up for her legal rights, and upholding her values, during her career with the United States Navy Reserves."
As of 2017, the U.S. Army has also permitted Muslim servicewomen to wear hijabs as part of their official uniform.
Wilson is one of about 5,000 Muslim-Americans who currently serve in the United States military. Muslims have also served in numerous conflicts dating back to the founding of the United States, including soldiers Yusuf Ben Ali and Bampett Muhammad in the Revolutionary War, Captain Moses Osman in the Civil War, and numerous Muslims in World War II.
American Muslims, like many other Americans, have also opposed participation in wars that they considered unjust, including boxer Muhammad Ali, who famously refused to fight in the Vietnam War.