- Chief Petty Officer Wilson appears to be the first Muslim woman in the history of the US Navy to serve at that rank while wearing hijab.
- Wilson is one of about 5,000 Muslim-Americans who currently serve in the United States military
ATLANTA, Georgia – An American Muslim woman who serves in the United States Navy Reserves has been promoted to the post of Chief Petty Officer, winning approval to continue wearing hijab.
“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,” Edward Ahmed Mitchell, the executive director of the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement.
“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 Chief Wilson will continue to stand up for her legal rights, and uphold her values, during her career with the United States Navy Reserves.”
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.
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.
As of 2017, the US 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.