A Muslim Woman Sues Dearborn Heights Police for Removing Her Islamic Headscarf After Arrest
A Muslim woman filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing Dearborn Heights police of violating her constitutional rights by making her remove her Islamic headscarf 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 headscarves during booking procedures.
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 headscarf 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.
For Kazan, “wearing a headscarf is a reminder of her faith, the importance of modesty in her religion … as well as a symbol of her own control over who may see the more intimate parts of her body,” the lawsuit said. “To have her hair and neck uncovered in public … is … deeply humiliating, violating, and defiling experience.”
Kazan said she asked to have a female officer take her photo, which he refused to do, said the lawsuit. The officer talked to a supervisor, who told him to proceed as usual.
The lawsuit says that wearing hijab is rooted in Islam, “based on…the Koran, the primary holy book of the Muslim religion; the hadith, oral traditions coming from the era of the Prophet Mohamed. … The word hijab comes from the Arabic word ‘hajaba,’ which means to hide or screen from view or to cover.”
The lawsuit was filed against the city of Dearborn Heights, its police department and police chief, saying that Kazan’s constitutional rights to free expression of religion were violated. It claims the First, Fourth and 14th amendments were violated.
Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko and Dearborn Heights Police Chief Lee Gavin did not return calls and messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit is the latest filed in recent months involving Arab-American Muslim residents in Dearborn Heights who say that police and school officials are being biased toward them. Last year, the Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights reached a settlement with the Department of Justice over concerns it discriminated against Arab Americans.
HURR HURR IT TEH SHARIA!!!!!!
Dearborn Heights is the whitey white white neighborhood where Renisha McBride was shot to death when she tried to get help after a traffic accident.
A white woman driving on a suspended license would get a finger shaken at her and told “You take care of that soon Ma’am! Have a nice day!”