Muslim Woman Sues City of Yonkers for Forced Removal of Her Hijab

Photo via Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

Last year Ihsan Malkawi and her husband, both residents of Yonkers, New York, were brought to a police station after their daughter attempted to run away and accuse them of assault. While her accusations would be later proved to be false, Ihsan had to endure the anti-constitutional treatment during the arrest. On April 8th, 2020 she finally sued the city.

According to the lawsuit, Ihsan’s daughter was so eager to return to the state of Michigan where they used to live that she started a huge fight with her parents and called 911, claiming they beat her.

The Yonkers police instructed the parents to arrive at the nearest precinct. Per their arrival, Ihsan was arrested and taken to a booking process, during which two female officers made her remove her hijab and change into a short-sleeved shirt.

Ihsan tried to explain her attire was essential to her faith, but the officers insisted that she was breaking the law by refusing to comply. She eventually agreed to do so, fearing for her safety. She was then repeatedly photographed with her head and arms uncovered.

Today Ihsan Malkawi is represented by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR litigation director Ahmed Mohamed made a statement where he reminded that the Yonkers authorities have always had a tendency to make people remove their religious attire, be it a hijab, a yarmulke or a turban for the sake of “law”, reports NBC.

However, wearing religious attire is, plain and simple, a First Amendment right.


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