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New York City will pay $180k to Muslim women forced to take mugshots without hijabs in front of men

Three Muslim women received financial settlements from New York City for being forced to take mugshots without their hijabs in front of men. (Getty Images)

Three Muslim women who sued New York City after being forced to take off their hijabs for mugshots in front of male officers and other men will each receive $60,000 settlements from the city, according to the New York Daily News.

What happened?

The settlements were filed Monday in three separate cases dating back to 2012:

  • A Brooklyn teenager was arrested for fighting two other girls. At Brooklyn Central Booking, she was forced to take a mugshot without her hijab in front of male prisoners and officers, making her feel “exposed, violated and distraught” according to the lawsuit.
  • The second case involved another woman forced to remove her hijab at Brooklyn Central Booking and authorities denied her request for a female photographer.
  • In the third case, a woman who had been knocked unconscious in a fight said her hijab was removed on the scene, and her request for a female mugshot photographer at Brooklyn Central Booking was denied.

What’s the policy?

New York City police changed the rules in March 2015 to require arresting officers to notify people that they can get their mug shot in a private room with an officer of the same gender.

The attorney for all three women, Tahanie Aboushi, told the Daily News that the NYPD had issued additional directives regarding religious headwear in December.

Why do Muslim women wear hijabs?

Although all Muslims don’t believe the hijab is required for women, those who do draw from Quran 24:31:

And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their head covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women.

One last thing…
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