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Muslim Woman Sues Michigan Agency for Making Her Remove Face Covering

January 23, 2015  | 

A Muslim woman filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing Dearborn Heights, Mich., police of violating her constitutional rights by making her remove her Islamic head scarf after they arrested her for driving on a suspended license.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Detroit, asks for Dearborn Heights to "modify its current policy" so that Muslim women can wear Islamic head scarves during booking procedures, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Malak Kazan of Dearborn Heights was pulled over by police in July on a traffic violation and then taken into custody on a traffic misdemeanor because of her suspended license, according to the lawsuit. The male police officer then asked Kazan to remove her head scarf to take her booking photo, which usually requires no head coverings or hats.

Kazan objected, saying her Islamic faith required her to cover her hair and neck in the presence of men who are not part of her immediate family, the lawsuit said.

Comments (17)

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17

EODK9Trainer @ 1/23/2015 4:09 PM

Tough cookies lady. Don't drive on a suspended OL and you may avoid jail and booking.

plato's playdough @ 1/23/2015 5:51 PM

While they are at it, they should also request that booking procedures allow for ski masks, hehehe.

132&Bush @ 1/23/2015 6:00 PM

As an atheist I do support people expressing their religions as long they don't force to follow along. But this face covering has got to go. Didn't France make it illegal?

Jim @ 1/24/2015 7:08 AM

A booking is to positively identify a person for now and the future. If a person does not want to have their face uncovered they should stay home. In muslim countries woman are not allowed to drive either.

Longarm @ 1/24/2015 8:31 AM

If female officers are/were available, I feel it costs nobody anything to have a female do the booking photo where feasible. If someone's religion can be easily accommodated with minimal disruption, why not just do it and avoid possible problems. If no female was available, tough cookies lady. Don't get arrested and you won't have this problem.

Renee @ 1/24/2015 8:50 AM

Muslim Female wearing a head scarf should be escorted and taken into the interrogation room by a female jailer to conduct a search under the scarf. A consent must be signed by the female suspect allowing the search. After the search is done, female suspect shouldn't be forced to remove the scarf unless her DL picture does not match her current looks. Covered face shouldn't be a problem either if police allow a female officer handle the process. It is a difficult matter to deal with as freedom of religion and faith is constitutionally protected. It can be done.

longtimecop @ 1/24/2015 9:33 AM

That's what I like about Virginia law; it's illegal to wear any kind of mask in public. I'm also a religious person, but there are limits, especially when it comes to public safety. Once you're placed under arrest, for the most part, you're just like everyone else.

dp @ 1/24/2015 10:19 AM

This is a Christian nation.... Next they won't want their fingerprints taken on religious grounds... If you don't want your pic taken, or prints taken, don't break the law. Driving is a privilege, not a right. Therefore she can't refuse to remove her scarf or whatever they want to call it.

alec moffat, Ph.D @ 1/24/2015 11:13 AM

Picture this! Suddenly all perps are now of a faith that doesn't allow their face to be seen, prints can't be taken, and DNA is OUT!
Give me a break. In many places in the world, safety concerns are such that any mask type thing must be removed. Ask a today VET how many muslim women turned out to be male under their garg. DUH it hides identity & whatever they are carrying.
In answer to 132&Bush(above) Now illegal in France.

Sam Abbas @ 1/24/2015 12:49 PM

Dearborn, MI is probably the most heavily-Muslim city in the country. There were riotous street celebrations when 9/11 terrorism occurred, which the media decided not to report on. It is even more heavily Muslim now. The demand follows the worldwide pattern seen in Europe and elsewhere: as Muslim population percentage increase, the Muslims demand more and more concessions and special treatment.

Jim Donahue @ 1/24/2015 2:01 PM

I spent most of my life in the Detroit area - a spot now teeming with folks of Arabic descent and of the Muslim faith. Most are great additions to our country. However, some refuse to assimilate - demanding that we change our laws to reconcile with their places of origin. Nonsense. You have come her by choice. If you don't like our rules, then return from whence you came. It is the responsibility of new immigrants to adapt to our ways - NOT the reverse.

John Wilson @ 1/24/2015 4:25 PM

Religion doesn't supersede Judicial law when one is arrested for a violation of an Ordinance, State, or Federal laws. Smile at the camera and you will be fine.

chris @ 1/25/2015 11:06 AM

This nation was built on Christian beliefs. We accept other religious beliefs to come and live here and worship here, but dont try to change our foundation based on your religion. Our money doesnt say, In Islam we trust, and our anthem isnt under Islam. If you dont agree with this then you are free to go and move where you want that accepts your religion and beliefs more. I mean the Islamic belief doesnt allow women to drive cars and your driving. So now you want to pick and choose what parts of your beliefs that you will follow? I think not. Driving is a privilege not a right and you violated that privilege so now deal with the judicial consequences.

Ben @ 1/25/2015 9:22 PM

When you break the law, you lose certain rights. In many cases, one of those rights is privacy. Anybody who can't reason that one out shouldn't be operating a vehicle.

Allen @ 1/26/2015 6:11 AM

Two things. First, where her religion is based does not allow women to drive, so she is exercising a privilege she would not have if we sent her 'home'. Second, the ears are a unique identifier just like fingerprints. The photo needs to include the ears and that means remove your head scarf. If you come to the United States to get away from what is going on in your homeland, don't ask us to change our laws to fit what you left. If those laws are more important to you, GO HOME.

Ima Leprechaun @ 1/28/2015 4:05 PM

Tough Toe nails. After arrest they have every right to search her entire body including anything covering her face. No jail in the country would accept a prisoner with a hidden face. No rights were broken and the removal was completely legal. If she didn't break the law it would never have been a problem.

Greg @ 2/2/2015 4:03 AM

OK there darlin' most mooslim countries women can't drive (according to their interpretation of the koran. So, you get to choose the parts you like and ignore the rest of koranic law? Well, should you be driving at all if you're so religious about removing your scarf? Well, which is it?

Poor little hypocrits. Of course it's Dearborn MI...the same police force who removed infidel Christians because the mooslims didn't want them around (the Christians were being attacked, but that was OK with the local mooslim chief of police...scary)

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