Cali Police Have to Change Their Rules, Pay Off a Hijab-Clad Prisoner with $85,000


Kirsty Powell, an African American Muslim, was arrested in 2015 and taken off to jail when police stopped her car and found she had outstanding warrants against her for petty theft, vehicle theft and resisting arrest. She later said in a lawsuit in 2016 that she didn’t know about the petty theft and the others were issued after her sister used her ID.

Aside from whether she was guilty or not, she came out $85,000 richer by 2017.

The Long Beach Police Department forced her to remove her hijab in accordance with a policy barring prisoners from wearing religious head coverings.

Two years later, the police department had to change their policy and Powell settled for $85,000. This was a suit brought by…no surprises here…an attorney who works for the Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations(CAIR) – Marwa Rifahie.

The hijab lawsuit was presented under the 1st Amendment. It further contended that the city violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

The police were forced to change their guidelines for the sharia requirement and they had to give her tens of thousands of dollars for following their current law.

It is California after all.

An article in the New York Times written by Asra Q. Nomani and Hala Arafa have a different take.

A hijab in not a matter of “choice”, it’s a symbol of a dangerous purity culture, obsessed with honor and virginity, that has divided Muslim communities in our own civil war, or fitna, since the Saudi and Iranian regimes promulgated puritanical interpretations of Sunni and Shia Islam, after the 1970s Saudi oil boom and the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

In the eight times the word hijab, or a derivative, appears in the Koran, it means a “barrier” or “curtain,” with spiritual, not sartorial, meaning…

…This purity culture covers, segregates, subordinates, silences, jails and kills women and girls around the world…

…Last month, after writing an essay arguing the headscarf isn’t Islamically mandated, we received verbal abuse from American Muslim leaders and academics, calling us “despicable,” “clinically delusional,” “Satan” and “dajjal,” the Muslim equivalent of anti-Christ.

But we believe women have a right to wear – or not wear – the headscarf. To that end, we heard from Muslims from Malaysia to Minnesota who told us again and again: “Thank you.”

The article gives a number of examples to back up their comments.

There is a mosque near my home on Long Island where the women wear full burqas with their faces covered. Sometimes they go shopping with their male escorts who can wear whatever the hay they want.

Where do you stand?

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