January 26, 2015 7:00 am -

Because we know how sensitive cops are to diversity.

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D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

21 responses to Woman Sues Police Department For Forcing Her To Remove Hijab

  1. rg9rts January 26th, 2015 at 7:55 am

    And the rightwingnuts are dancing in the streets with glee

  2. Wayout January 26th, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Oh the humanity! Hey, if she was in Saudi Arabia she would only have received 100 lashes for refusing to comply with the police. I know, it’s tough here in America being a Muslim, really tough.

    • Glen January 26th, 2015 at 8:44 am

      You’re right. The fact there are massive injustices overseas means that we should ignore smaller injustices at home, right? China exists, so it’s OK to do some lesser censorship, because it’s worse in China. It’s OK to spy on all of your citizens, just as long as you only use the information once in a while, because there are worse places where they spy on you and use the information constantly.

      Or, you know, you could try to formulate an argument that doesn’t amount to ridiculing someone because there is a country out there, which the person may have no connections whatsoever, does worse things than America and happens to share a holy book (I can’t help but notice that you just assume Saudi Arabia, even if she’s Shiite, for instance – kind of like ridiculing a protestant over child abuse in the catholic church… but worse, since Saudi Arabia is a country, not a religious sect).

      • Budda January 26th, 2015 at 4:18 pm

        You do know you are talking to a brick wall, right?

        • Glen January 26th, 2015 at 10:52 pm

          In the end, I wasn’t so much trying to convince him, as making sure that he was unable to sway others’ opinions. Bad ideas and arguments from people who aren’t going to listen to reason are dangerous if they aren’t challenged, especially on the internet.

          If just one person who read his comment was going to go “you know, that’s a very good argument”, but then reads my comment and realises the huge flaw in his comment, then my comment wasn’t in vain.

          • greenfloyd January 26th, 2015 at 11:13 pm

            It was snarky, although the only flaw I noticed was that if Malak Kazan were in Saudi Arabia should would not be allowed to drive in the first place… and in her case that might be a good thing. 🙂

          • Glen January 27th, 2015 at 7:10 am

            Then either you clearly didn’t read my first comment, or you’re in the same category as Wayout.

          • greenfloyd January 27th, 2015 at 8:30 am

            I read both your comments, I agree with Wayout, from what I’ve learned so far I don’t see any injustice. Did you read the linked story? she was driving on a suspended license when pulled over. I suspect she may not be a very good driver.

            BTW, Saudi Arabia is a country; it is also a brutal monarchy that tolerates no dissent and treats women like chattel.

          • Glen January 27th, 2015 at 8:57 am

            I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I didn’t comment on whether there was injustice in the story. My comment was directed squarely at Wayout’s reaction. What he did was see a muslim woman and point at Saudi Arabia, as though if she’s muslim she must have some sort of connection to that country.

            Meanwhile, it took me all of 20 seconds to learn that you can have your license suspended in Michigan for violating insurance laws. Also for refusing a blood alcohol test. But even if that weren’t true, getting what we Australians call demerit points on your license doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad driver.

            But the really telling part is that you also just jumped straight to a comparison with Saudi Arabia for no other reason than that she’s wearing a headscarf.

            All she wanted was to comply with her religious and cultural beliefs. When she was told that she was unable to keep the headscarf on, she asked if she could have a female police officer take her photo, so that she could comply with both her religion and the police… the police refused, either because they were unable to find a female police officer (in which case, I’d assert sexist attitudes within the department) or because of antipathy towards her due to her being a muslim.

            It doesn’t take a genius to find a way out of this situation that works for all parties involved… the woman herself offered one. The police refused it.

            Now, I challenge you to provide a single reason for invoking Saudi Arabia’s laws and treatment of women in connection with this story, other than islamophobia. Especially when attitudes of police in many parts of America do justify the phrase “police state”, considering the various stories of the last few years, from teargassing peaceful protesters at universities, to killing unarmed black kids and then not being punished, to abuse of citizens for not being white (have a look at the other lawsuit mentioned in the article), and to unnecessary interference with religious belief in this story. Note that I’m Australian, and I can tell you right now, we wouldn’t tolerate these sorts of things happening. Anyway, something to think about.

          • greenfloyd January 27th, 2015 at 9:36 am

            I agree Saudia Arabia appears to have no connection to Malak Kaza’s story. I mentioned it as follow-up to Wayout’s apparent mockery of her trying to use her headgear to get out of a jam. Some of us call it playing the political correctness card. At any rate, Kaza’s religion has nothing to do with the traffic laws and it seems she was treated just as you or I would be in that same situation. Of course here in America she is free to file a lawsuit and she’ll get her day in court, then we’ll see if it has any merit.

            So in Australia would she be allowed to keep her hat on when booked into the jail?

          • greenfloyd January 27th, 2015 at 9:50 am

            Randy Newman – You Can Leave Your Hat On (Berlin 1994)


          • Glen January 28th, 2015 at 8:49 am

            She probably wouldn’t be allowed to keep the headscarf on… but on request they probably would have had a female officer photograph her with no male officers present. In other words, permit reasonable requests that neither significantly inhibit their job nor place anybody in any sort of risk.

            As it was pointed out, she initially refused to take it off at all. But when they asserted that it was policy, and she had to, she modified her position to a more reasonable one. Can you honestly say that she was being unreasonable by asking for a female officer to take the photos? Can you honestly call it in any way “playing the political correctness card”, rather than simply trying to comply with her religious beliefs to as great a degree as she could while also complying with the secular laws of the location she was in (regarding the time in the police station, not the situation with the car)?

          • greenfloyd January 28th, 2015 at 10:23 pm

            I agree about reasonable accommodation in regards to the taking of what we call a “mug shot.” Although it should be understood the photo becomes a matter of public record, sometimes republished in local news papers and web sites. In the end it makes no difference who takes the photo,

  3. Budda January 26th, 2015 at 8:41 am

    “prohibition on headscarf was the policy”…if true, is the issue.

    This is the 21st century in America and some ‘religious’ demands/requests while under arrest may be just a bit too much.

  4. Mephistophiles January 26th, 2015 at 9:17 am

    This seems very clear-cut to me. She was under arrest, and was required to remove her headscarf. Also, there is no religious obligation in Islam to wear a headscarf, as she claims.

    When any religion demands more rights and respect than any other group, then there’s a problem – and that’s what she’s done – demanded rights not afforded to others.

    • Bunya January 26th, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      “…and that’s what she’s done – demanded rights not afforded to others.”
      … Yeah well, except for Hobby lobby.

  5. Kim Serrahn January 26th, 2015 at 9:25 am

    So all I’m seeing is a picture. What happened to the story behind it?

    • Mephistophiles January 26th, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Kim, you need to click the blue link above the picture – it will take you to the story.

  6. Lisa Lind January 26th, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    She is no different than anyone else! Do you realize weapons etc “could” be hidden in robes and other clothing…so unless I see where it was for ridiculous reasons like they stated they hate,Muslums, she needs to quit expecting special treatment by playing the religion card! Exept that DID work for Hobby Lobby now didn’t it?

  7. Bunya January 26th, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    So what could she possibly be hiding under her scarf? The lost ship Nautilus?

  8. Robert M. Snyder January 26th, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    If the woman had been a nun, would she have been forced to remove her habit? If so, then it isn’t about Islam.