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Dearborn police implement ‘Hijab Policy’ without telling anybody
|ADC-MI Executive Director Fatina Abdrabboh.|
DEARBORN — A Dearborn woman who accused the police department of forcing her to remove her hijab has dropped her lawsuit amidst a policy change.
Maha Aldhalimi, 44, originally filed the lawsuit last year with the backing of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee of Michigan (ADC-MI) and attorney Shereef Akeel, claiming a police officer forced her to remove her hijab when she was arrested in September 2014 for an unpaid parking ticket.
This week, Dearborn Police released a statement claiming the lawsuit was dropped when video evidence revealed her claims were fallacious.
“Dearborn police remains committed to respecting the rights of all people within our custody and we follow a stringent policy regarding religious head covering,” Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad said. “We knew this lawsuit had no merit and are glad that the people we serve can have confidence that our officers acted properly in this case.”
Akeel said he was disappointed that the department’s press release painted the plaintiff’s legal team in a condescending manner. He said that when the lawsuit was filed, the attorneys were not aware that a policy change had been implemented.
“The press release really surprised me, because I was actually respecting the city for changing the policy,” Akeel said. “Several weeks after we jointly agreed to dismiss the case, the city of Dearborn sends out a statement saying it was a bogus lawsuit and that’s unfortunate and inaccurate.”
Akeel said that following Aldhalimi’s arrest, ADC-MI attempted to negotiate with the police department on a policy change.
Akeel provided documentation to The Arab American News which revealed that Haddad had implemented a policy in October 2011 that required Muslim women to remove their hijabs during an arrest for safety reasons.