I’m sure you, like me, are tired of reading about all the doom and despair associated with the current pandemic. So let’s switch gears and talk about cops being trash.
NBC News reports that a lawsuit filed by Ihsan Malkawi, a Muslim woman in New York, alleges that Yonkers police forced her to remove her hijab when they booked her in jail. Malkawi and her husband were arrested after their daughter called the police and alleged abuse. Those allegations were found to be false after an investigation.
From NBC News:
Malkawi claims in the lawsuit to have never been asked to remove her hijab in public before and that she told the officer that she could not take it off because it was not a fashion accessory but important to her religious faith.
The female officer consulted a male supervisor, who refused to allow Malkawi to retain her hijab for the booking photo. The officers told Malkawi, “It’s the law,” according to the lawsuit.
Malkawi says she wound up spending 36 hours without her hijab and wearing a short sleeve t-shirt, both of which go against her religious practices. The class-action lawsuit is set to include multiple people who have had their religious rights infringed upon by police. Ahmed Mohammed, the litigation director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations New York, told NBC News “This is not a one-time incident. This is a policy. This is something that has happened to a lot of people.”
This seems to be a pretty cut and dry case of someone’s rights being infringed on. In recent years, we keep hearing “religious freedom” being used to justify efforts to disenfranchise LGBTQ people and women. I hope that same energy is applied to this woman who very clearly had her religious freedom undermined.