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Muslim Girl's Hijab Ripped off by Police at Immigrant Rights Protest

March 27, 2006

CAIR-Chicago is urging everyone to respond to an egregious case of police misconduct against Rehana Khan, a Muslim girl who had her headscarf (hijab) ripped off after she and several others were arrested for civil disobedience while protesting at a rally for immigrant rights. As she was led to a squad car, Ms. Khan informed an officer that the way in which she was being handled was causing extreme pain - actions from which she obtained bruises and scars - and requested that the officer ease her grip. The officer responded by stating: “No, that’s what you get,” and then remarked, “Take that off” and violently pulled off her hijab.

At the police station, Ms. Khan was made to take off her hijab again and was searched by a female and male officer without her hijab on. After the search, the female officer tried to give the hijab back to her but the male officer stopped her, stating something along the lines of there not being anybody at the station to look at her and indicated that the practice of wearing the hijab was a “fashion statement.” Ms. Khan was then kept in lock up without being permitted to wear her hijab.

CAIR-Chicago will be meeting with representatives of the village of Arlington Heights to discuss the matter in upcoming days. Additionally, a trial to determine the fate of Ms. Khan, the other protesters, and the rights of protesters engaging in civil disobedience in the future is coming close.

Letters must be sent to the police chief of Arlington Heights as soon as possible demanding that the village drop the charges against the protesters and address the misconduct of the police officers who violated Ms. Khan’s civil rights. Below is a letter you can download and send to the police chief. Action must be taken immediately. For questions, email

Download and send this letter to the Chief of Police
(MS Word Document)

or send an email to:

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