Alwaght- The US Police has arrested a Muslim woman during a recent Black Lives Matter protest and forced the 18-year-old woman to remove her hijab for a booking photo. She was not allowed to put it back on for several hours, an advocacy group has said.
Alaa Massri was among the protesters who were protesting at the site of two statues of Christopher Columbus and Juan Ponce de León near Bayside Market in Miami on June 10, The New York Times reported quoting the Miami Police Department.
During the demonstration, police officers established a “skirmish line” to prevent protesters from “taking over the street,” according to the police. The police claimed that Massri “became irate” as an officer “was guiding her up the street,” adding that the officer “grabbed” her after she “continued to remain in the roadway” and that she punched the officer “in the right bicep with a closed fist.”
Massri was arrested and charged with battery, resisting an officer with violence and disorderly conduct.
She was taken to a Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation center where officers removed her hijab forcibly, according to Hassan Shibly, the chief executive director of CAIR Florida, a civil liberties and advocacy organization.
“She was wrongfully and unconstitutionally photographed without her hijab, and it was made accessible to countless media outlets,” he said
Omar Saleh, an attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group, slammed the incident.
He said that removing religious head coverings during booking procedures — whether a hijab, yumalke, or turban — is a “severe violation of religious freedoms,” NVS News reported.
“It’s not isolated. We’ve heard it before, and there have been lawsuits filed across the nation to rule this practice as unconstitutional,” Saleh said, citing a few jurisdictions in California and Portland, Maine.
“This isn’t treatment that’s unique to Muslims, but it’s one where Muslim women who wear hijabs certainly bear the brunt of,” Saleh said. “There needs to be change.”
A Muslim woman filed a federal civil lawsuit in Yonkers, New York, in April where she said she was forced to remove her hijab before taking her booking photo last year.
Ihsan Malkawai was arrested on “false allegations of abuse,” which were later came out unfounded. She was kept in custody without her hijab for 36 hours.