Muslim woman sues Michigan police for forcing her to remove hijab
Muslim woman sues Michigan police for forcing her to remove head scarfReuters (representative purpose only)

A 27-year-old Muslim woman has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the police department in Michigan for forcing her to remove her hijab (a traditional head scarf) for a booking photo.

Malak Kazan was arrested last year from the Dearborn Heights Police Department after she was caught driving on a suspended licence.

Kazan said that officers violated her right to religious freedom, reported MyfoxDetroit.

Kazan further told the website that it was against her religion to expose her head in the presence of males not from her immediate family.

She also asked for a female officer to take the photo, but her request was denied.

"Your religious freedoms are not stripped at the jailhouse door," said her attorney Amir Makled. "It's part of the cannons of their faith to wear a head scarf. For her to have it removed in front of a non-relative male, would be a non-pleasant experience for her."

According to the report, Kazan's driver's licence had expired and there were two warrants for her arrest because she never appeared in court.

Meanwhile, Dearborn Heights Police chief Lee Garvin said: "Articles such as hats, caps, hijabs, can contain concealable items that could pose a threat or chance of injury to the cops or to themselves."

"At this point she is only doing a booking photograph. They can't get in here and say officer safety. It's a booking photo it's used for identity purposes only," he added.

A part of the lawsuit also alleges that there were no female officers present during the booking.

"Our procedure is to have them take the hijab off in the presence of a female," Garvin said. "We don't always have enough female officers present in the station. Our No. 1 concern is security of our officers and the prisoners."

While on the other hand, the victim's attorney said: "You have to remove your head scarf in order to take the booking photograph. We found that practice to be extremely discriminatory."