Leaders of an Islamic civil rights organization appeared in court Tuesday to criticize Arlington Heights police for pulling off the hijab, or head scarf, of Rehana Kahn while she was being arrested during an October protest.
“For a Muslim woman, this is a state of nudity,” Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, said at the hearing at the Cook County courthouse in Rolling Meadows.
He said Arlington Heights should discipline the officer and institute cultural training.
Mayor Arlene Mulder said Monday Arlington Heights police acted appropriately.
Police also took Kahn’s mug shot without the scarf. Although the picture was not released, Rehab said Kahn should have been photographed wearing her hijab, as long as her face and hair clearly showed. This is the way many Muslim women appear on their American passports and driver’s licenses, he said.
The removal of Kahn’s hijab has received national and international media attention. Rehab was scheduled to appear on MSNBC to talk about the issue Tuesday, and Arlington Heights village attorney Ernest Blomquist was contacted by Al Jazeera television to speak about the case.