Student says she had to prove she was Muslim to get Hampton University ID

Posted on: 6:45 pm, October 4, 2013, by , updated on: 02:34pm, October 5, 2013

Hampton, Va. (WTKR) – Melona Clarke said she had to prove she was a Muslim so she could be a student at Hampton University.

“I went to go get my ID in the police office, and I was in the front of the line and I was told that I would not be able to get my ID because I wear a hijab,” said Clarke.

In order to wear the hijab, or the head scarf many Muslim women choose to wear, Clarke was told she not only had to get a letter from the school chaplain but her mosque.

NewsChannel 3 took a look at the school’s dress code and it shows, “caps and hoods for women” are not allowed, but that “does not apply to headgear considered as a part of religious or cultural dress.”

But there is a separate policy in order to wear the religious headgear stating students, “May make a written request for a review through the Office of the Chaplain,” and “students who are approved will then have their new ID card picture taken.”

“I feel like that is absurd,” said Francine Marquis, a Hampton University student.

Joshua Senegal echoed the concerns.

“I understand why they do it, but I don’t think it is necessary to do,” said Senegal.

Melona ended up getting the proper letters to abide by the school’s policy, but she hopes they will think about changing it.

In the meantime, she does not want to be questioned for wearing her scarf and carries her letters of permission around with her daily on campus.

“If I am ever stopped and asked who I am, what I am doing on campus, I want to have all the proof that I can that I am a student here because I don’t want to have to go through anything like I went through in the first place, and I don’t want other people to have to go through that either,” said Clarke.


  • Melona Clarke? Doesn’t sound like a Muslim name to me!

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously, she converted. It’s not the name that makes the Muslim. It’s what they believe in their heart.

      • Andrea says:

        News flash: Africa has more Muslims than any other place in the world. Islam is not defined by a name. It is defined by actions.

    • j.j. says:


    • anonymous says:

      You don’t have to have an Arabic name to be a Muslim. Take for example European countries and regions such as Bosnia, Albania and Dagestan. They are European people with European names but they have been Muslims for hundreds of years.

    • My name is Amber and I’m Muslim. How can this be you ask? I converted to Islam. Simple :) There’s a huge difference between a Muslim and an Arab. The percentage of Arab Muslims is very low. The majority of Muslims are Asian.

  • Sascha says:

    @Debbie geeez you do live in the back woods don’t you?!?!! She’s a Revert! She came back to Islam! A name doesn’t make you Muslim it’s your actions!

  • Mag Pie says:

    Come on! Being racist is as American as apple pie.

  • Who cares what she wears. If she wants to wear an Abe Lincoln hat and clown shoes no one should care.

  • empresstrudy says:

    Fair enough. I’m going as the Aurora Shooter or the Unabomber.

  • Lea Bea says:

    Racism is just so fashionable……….

  • Jim Jackson says:

    I am a white conservative (really more libertarian) Southerner and I approve of Melona’s message. Oh, by the way, I am also a Muslim. My 5x grandfather was a Patriot during the American Revolution and I am sure he would also be proud of Melona. She seems like a very nice young lady. We need more Americans to stand up for their rights.

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