Muslim woman sues city after police force her to remove hijab for arrest booking photo

A Muslim woman is contending that the law does not apply to her.

She is suing the city of Dearborn, Michigan, saying police forced her to remove her hijab after she was arrested for traffic violations.

Maha Aldhalimi says in her lawsuit that police spotted her in a no-parking zone outside a Walmart in the heavily Muslim city and, after checking her license and registration, informed her that she “had a warrant for her arrest for an unpaid parking violation,” USA Today reported.

She was taken to the station and ordered to take off her headscarf for a booking photo, the lawsuit says.

After she objected, officers told her to “to remove her hijab or it would be removed involuntarily against her will,” the lawsuit says.

She said she “was shivering and crying” but reluctantly removed the hijab.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Detroit by attorneys Shereef Akeel, Fatina Abdrabboh and Reem Subei of Michigan’s American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, reports USA Today.

The lawsuit is the latest case involving Muslim women in Michigan who say they are forced to remove their hijab by police or to seek services. Other women who wear hijab have complained about how they are treated by Dearborn Police.

Separate lawsuits were filed this year on behalf of Muslim women wearing hijab against Dearborn Heights police and the Oceana County sheriff. Dearborn Heights police said in a court filing this year that they have the right to remove a hijab for security reasons.

The city of Dearborn had no comment, telling USA Today that it had not been served with the lawsuit.

Carmine Sabia


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