The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has agreed to change its policies for interacting with hijab-wearing Muslim women, in response to a lawsuit.
The department had required Muslim women to remove head coverings for booking photos following arrest. Two years ago, two women, Jamilla Clark and Arwa Aziz, sued after they had been forced to remove their hijabs for mug shots. The two said that forcing them to be exposed made them feel shamed, reported The New York Times.
Police have agreed to change the policy to settle the lawsuit. In the future, Muslim women will be required to expose their faces for booking photos, but they won’t be required to remove their entire head scarves.
The Times reported that the new policy won’t just affect hijabs but will also cover other types of religious headgear, such as turbans worn by Sikhs and skullcaps worn by many Jews.
Under the terms of a settlement agreement, the NYPD has agreed to train its officers to allow people with headgear who have been arrested to keep it on to respect their “privacy, rights and religious beliefs.”