Poll Results: Mug Shots and Hijabs

(Illustrative photo: Flickr/Taufiq Aizuddin)
(Illustrative photo: Flickr/Taufiq Aizuddin)

New York City settled lawsuits with three Muslim women who were forced to take off their hijabs in front of men while having police mug shots taken. Each woman is to receive $60,000.

In 2015, the New York Police Department changed its policy for people who refuse to take off their head covering for religious reasons in front of members of the opposite sex. Arresting officers now have to give such persons the option of taking a photo in private with an officer of the same gender.

One of the cases occurred before the policy was changed and two occurred after.

In connection with this story, we asked you, our readers, “How far do you think police should go to accommodate religious sensitivities?”

  • 22.7 percent said taking a mug shot in private with the same gender is a reasonable accommodation
  • 77.3 percent said mugs shots should be taken in the most expedient way

Here are some of the comments we received:

It is a matter of courtesy. Wearing these garments is cultural, NOT religious.

If you are taking a mug shot you have been arrested. You violated a law. We do not need to bend over backwards for law breakers. Don’t break the law and you won’t be put in this position. You lose some rights once you break a law. It is despicable that they got money for this. Let’s pay all of our criminals for their pain and suffering. Yeah, that’s a great idea.

Law enforcement officials are taking mug shots of people who are involved with situations in which laws have been violated. As such, the police should facilitate what is legally necessary rather than personally preferable. The hijab is actually a political statement and not so much a religious statement. Therefore, political statements hiding under religious lexicon deserve to be discarded when it comes to fulfilling the requirements of enforcing the law by law enforcement personnel.

Not only Muslims wear religious headgear! Also Orthodox Jews and Sikhs. All should have their modesty respected.

My religious sensibilities are ignored on an almost daily basis. When I have to hear people use the name of Jesus as a swear word my religious sensibilities are being trampled on. Does that give me the right to sue the person who trampled on my sensibilities? At the point that these women have broken our laws, they have forfeited their “right” to demand special accommodations.

In our country follow our laws NOT sharia

Where are we? The U.S. or Iran for heaven’s sake???

Mug shots imply reasonable suspicion of illegal acts; thus warranted in the most expedient fashion. Lousy ridiculous award…

People who have broken the law still have rights, and if it is at all possible you should be sensitive to a person’s religious beliefs. After all you wouldn’t strip search a woman in public in front of a person of the opposite sex, and removing a Muslim woman’s hijab in front of a man is a lot her like being stripped.

I would accommodate a reasonable accommodation, because if I don’t I could be forced to remove my cross in public or not be allowed to say the blessing quietly over my food when dining out with my family.

Those ladies are abusing the forgiving, humane laws of the U.S. They should be treated like everyone else. The stupidity rests with the court that accepted the lawsuits.

The Koran states nothing about covering the face, just dress modestly, so stop the BS.

If they cannot accommodate ALL religious sensibilities then they should accommodate NONE.



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Meira Svirsky
Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org