A Muslim woman who was ordered to remove her hijab after being arrested in Michigan due to an unpaid parking violation has filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the city of Dearborn.
Maha Aldhalimi of Wayne County was parked in a no-parking zone outside the local Wal-Mart when a police officer arrested her for the violation.
Fatina Abdrabboh, ADC Michigan director, stated that Aldhalimi was ''arrested in a public place in a local Walmart and she presented no threat except perhaps for her frantic crying and begging to not have her head scarf removed.”
Aldhalimi was bound by her religious beliefs and tried to explain this to the male officers but they ordered her to take off her hijab at which point she felt humiliated and started crying and shaking.
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The police officers disregarded Aldhalimi’s religious beliefs even though she explained that Muslim women who wear hijab do not believe in exposing their hair to men outside of their close relatives. Aldhamlimi’s son was present as well and tried to reason with the police officers.
Troy attorney Shereef Akeel, Fatina Abdrabboh and Reem Subei, attorneys with the Michigan chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Detroit regarding Muslim women who are forced to remove their headscarves by the Dearborn Police. There have been other cases of Muslim women being forced to remove their headscarf by the police due to which separate lawsuits were filed this year.
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Dearborn Heights Police stated in an earlier court filing this year that the removal of a headscarf is done for security purposes. "This is not about officer safety," Abdrabboh said. "She could have been fully identified with her head scarf."
The Dearborn Heights Police have not yet commented on their policies. There has been no comment by the Dearborn police as the lawsuit has not been served but ADC says they will keep working towards attaining greater religious freedom.
This article originally appeared on Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press.
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