This woman was being booked on a parole violation and the sheriff’s deputies asked her to remove her hijab, or her headgear, which she refused to do. The deputies then called a woman deputy who then made her remove her hijab. Is it just me, or when you go to jail, you should have to remove headgear? Anyway, well, now she is suing the sheriff because she was caused “extreme emotional distress”.
An Anaheim woman filed a federal lawsuit against the Orange County Sheriff’s Department today, claiming her religious rights were violated when deputies forced her to remove her hijab, or head scarf.
Deputies insisted Souhair Khatib, 33, who is Muslim; remove her scarf when she was being booked into a county jail in connection with a probation violation. Islam dictates that women must wear the hijab, which covers a woman’s hair and neck, for reasons of modesty.
Khatib was seen by deputies and other men from her mosque without her covering, causing her extreme emotional distress, her lawsuit says.
“For Souhair, to have her head uncovered in public – particularly in the presence of men who are not part of her immediate family – is a serious breach of faith and a deeply humiliating and defiling experience,” the suit says.
Damon Micalizzi, a spokesman for Sheriff Mike Carona, said he can’t comment on specifics of the lawsuit, but said the department has a practice of requiring inmates to remove certain pieces of clothing.
“Although we are sensitive to our inmates’ religious beliefs and their ability to exercise their beliefs, it’s our operational practice to have inmates remove certain articles of clothing including head gear, ties, belts, etc. for the safety and security of detainees and the staff,” he said.
Khatib, a U.S. citizen who emigrated from Lebanon, along with her husband, Amro Khatib, 32, were in Orange County Superior Court’s north courthouse on Nov. 1, 2006, to seek an extension on their community service. The couple had pleaded guilty in June 2006 to a misdemeanor violation of welfare fraud and were sentenced to three years probation and ordered to complete 30 days of community service.
I completely understand about religious beliefs and what they mean to people. But, it seems to me that there are segments of the Muslim community, just as there are segments of the South American immigrant community, who do not embrace American values. These people need to learn the word: A-S-S-I-M-I-L-A-T-I-O-N. When my Irish forefathers came over here, they assimilated.