The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California reached a settlement with the County of Orange yesterday allowing for Muslim women to keep their religious headscarves on while in custody. That wasn’t the case back in 2006 when Lebanese Arabheimer Souhair Khatib and her husband pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor welfare crime. Ordered to perform hours of community service, Khatib later asked for an extension alongside her husband, but the judge revoked their probation and placed them in holding cells. It was there that a male deputy ordered the devout Muslim to remove her scarf. Khatib reluctantly complied after trying to explain why doing so in the sight of men she didn’t know would cause great distress. She sued in 2007 on the basis that her religious freedoms were violated. As a result of the just-reached agreement, observant Muslim women in similar situations won’t have to suffer through the same ordeal.
Read more on my latest OC Weekly Navel Gazing Blog post: