Hijab Taken For Mugshot: Lawsuit Exposes Ongoing Disrespect For Muslim Choices In The US

Across the US, there have been several incidents wherein Muslim women were forced to remove their hijab for a mugshot. The most recent incident took place in Detroit, Michigan, when a Muslim woman was told to remove the hijab for her mugshot while being booked into the county jail.

Not only was she forced to remove her hijab, but also she wasn’t alone in the room while doing that, as two officers were with her. The incident didn’t stop there, as a second photo was taken of her to be posted on the jail’s public website. However, instead of posting that picture (with hijab), they posted her photo without the hijab.

The woman didn’t remain silent and filed a lawsuit on January 3rd against a Kent County officer. “Like many Muslim women whose religious beliefs dictate that they wear a hijab, (the woman) felt exposed and violated without hers. It is as if (she) was naked in a public space,” the lawsuit said.

This wasn’t the first time that such an incident took place. Several months back, another woman filed a lawsuit against the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee after she was asked to remove her hijab for her mugshot. She gave a statement to a news outlet, saying that on that day, she felt “very naked because, as a Muslim woman, our hijab is our protection.”

The issue is that the belittlement and mockery of the Muslim practice of donning the hijab goes beyond the police and extends to Western media. Recently, Jewish American comedian Bill Maher ridiculed Muslim women’s right to don the Niqab by presenting a satirical Niqab fashion show that was blatantly Islamophobic.

These negative attitudes and lack of respect toward common Muslim practices have been present in the US for decades, yet they’re increasing because of the Gaza genocide and the fact that many US citizens are pro-Israel.

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