New York City To Pay 3 Muslim Women $60,000 Each For Forced Removal Of Hijabs

| March 1 , 2018 , 15:32 IST

The city of New York will be paying a total of $180,000 to 3 Muslim women who were forced by the police to remove their headscarves or 'Hijabs' to have mug shots taken, officials said on Wednesday.

The 3 women will be receiving $60,000 each, their lawyer Tahanie Aboushi said. All 3 incidents took place in the Brooklyn borough of New York, out of which 2 were arrested in 2015 and the third was arrested in 2012.

The women sued the city and the New York Police Department, claiming that their religious rights were violated when they were asked to remove their religious head covering.

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One of the women, identified as G.E, was required to remove her hijab for around 20 minutes in the presence of police and other prisoners which her lawyer said left her feeling "exposed, violated and distraught".

New York Police has since then adjusted their guidelines regarding mug shots, by allowing detainees the option of having their photograph taken in private by a police officer of the same sex.

ALSO READ: Iranian Women Take Off Headscarves To Protest Against Mandatory Hijab Laws

"It's a step in the right direction and it was a collaborative effort to address a gap in the patrol guide," Aboushi told AFP.

Kimberly Joyce, a spokeswoman for the city of New York's law department said, "The resolution of these matters were in the best interest of all parties involved."

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution provides protection of 'Freedom of Speech' from government interference, which explicitly includes the freedom of wearing desired clothing, rendering a ban on Islamic clothing presumptively invalid.