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I urge the New York Police Department to stand firm for its policy that requires the removal of headgear, including a hijab, while taking official arrest photographs.
The Council on American Islamic Relations’ lawsuit on behalf of Arwa Aziz and Jamilla Clark truly lacks merit. Allowing any person alleged to have committed a crime and being admitted to prison to wear any headgear that obstructs the full identity of the perpetrator during the official arrest photograph defies logic and threatens public safety. In particular to this lawsuit, a hijab blocks hair length, hair color, hair texture, ear size, ear shape and birth marks.
A full, unobstructed arrest photo is crucial to properly identify the inmate while in prison and track the accused through the criminal justice process. A full arrest photo is also valuable for current and future investigations, crime prevention and public safety.
Most Muslim women in America do not wear a hijab. Pew Research found that only forty three percent (43%) of American Muslim women wear hijabs according to an article published by NPR on April 21, 2011. The NPR article states in part “The split between women who've covered and women who've never done so has existed for decades. But now a generation of women is taking off the headscarf, or hijab.” Therefore, after seven years of “a generation of women taking off the hijab” the number of Muslim women now wearing the hijab in America is likely much less than forty three percent.
The hijab was invented in the 1970s over 1300 years after the Quran was written. The truth is the hijab is not derived from the Quran but is legislated by Islamist dictates and fatwas that oppress and dominate woman. Strict Islamic law, Sharia and fatwa enforcement requiring women to wear the hijab started only within the last 50 years. Muslim women are currently protesting the Islamist dictates in Iran and Saudi Arabia. The oppressive dictates of Sharia law, which are antithetical to the rights afforded all Americans by the United States Constitution, have no place governing police policy and interfering with public safety.
I stand in support of the NYPD because the NYPD stands on the front line for my safety.
Please stand firm for the policy that requires removal of headgear, including a hijab, during the official arrest photograph.
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