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Posted: 1/30/2002 12:22:21 PM EDT
Muslim Woman: License Requirement Violates Religious Freedom W I N T E R P A R K, Fla., Jan. 30 — A Muslim woman has sued the state for suspending her driver's license after she refused to remove her face-covering veil for the photograph. Sultaana Freeman, 34, said she was allowed to wear her veil, which only reveals her eyes, for her license photo in Illinois and for a Florida license issued in February. But state officials demanded Freeman pose without her veil in November, following checks of records prompted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Freeman filed suit earlier this month in Orange County. "I don't show my face to strangers or unrelated males," Freeman said. Florida law states that license applicants be issued "a color photographic or digital imaged driver's license bearing a full-face photograph." Robert Sanchez, a spokesman for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, said his agency had to enforce that law. But civil rights lawyer Howard Marks said the law is vague. He pointed to another Florida law stating the "government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion." — The Associated Press
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 1:06:56 PM EDT
The key phrase is substantial. That is up to debate. I'm sure that the liscence with her information would be enough to identify her with out a facial examination. How about a close up of her eyes? Or making her have an extra piece of information, that only the police would know about, similar to how CCW permit systems work. For Muslim women (devout ones)un-veiling themselves is a big deal (understatement). It would be like walking around naked for one of us. The funny thing is that many muslim woman don't wear veils.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 2:04:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2002 2:09:42 PM EDT by tayous1]
Now we all talk about getting a drivers licenses is a privilege not a right? So why should she not have to take off the vail for a photo? If she wants to drive that bad then she will take it off!
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 2:32:58 PM EDT
The drivers testing station I go to is run entirely by females. Another female should be able to do the photo & then send the camel jockey on her way. Next she'll refuse to show the license to a cop if she's pulled over, wait & see.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 2:54:44 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:21:36 PM EDT
I had to take off my hat to have my picture taken at the DMV, why should she get special treatment. If she doesn't want to remove her veil, then she shouldn't drive. It's almost like wearing a ski mask to get your picture taken...ridiculous!
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:26:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:27:00 PM EDT
Just how ugly is she? Wonder what her passport looks like? Good luck to her....sort of.....it might reveal the poor logic of gun licenses and the poor logic of alien identification in general. Unintended Consequences.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:41:56 PM EDT
I'm hearing Fl law requires a full face pic so she need to take her headgear off.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 3:46:11 PM EDT
no pic....no drive!
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 4:10:31 PM EDT
Privilege license to operate a motor vehicle is NOT a right! She should move to a Moslem country where women are not only not given licenses, or permitted to drive, but publicly flogged for asking. Where are the lawyers in these devoutly Moslem countries? The other option is to issue her a license with the veil on, and have her detained when stopped for inadequate ID. No one will accept this ID for check cashing, airline access, etc., so why not let her have it? Except that she would likely use the same attorney to sue anyone who refused to accept it.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 4:40:36 PM EDT
id like to offer the .25 cent solution. do they even let women drive in muslim countries?[they may be onto something there!]is she an [african]american gone muslim or a foriegner. either way,she will end up wasting the courts time and the taxpayers money!off w/ her head!
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 5:04:18 PM EDT
Those Muslim countries got something right. We should ban all women from the roads, then she wouldn't need a license.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 5:09:23 PM EDT
Driving is a priveledge, not a right! You want to cover up your face, the laws says full face to get a liscence. Tough shit ride the bus then! I am a Canadian and I had to wear a ski mask because it is sooo cold up there, I want to have my picture taken with the mask on because it is what I am used to wearing.[;)] [beer]
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 6:15:34 PM EDT
Come to Arizona!! Running a red light with your face covered (mask, bandana, etc) is a FELONY!! If a cop sees your face covered or if "photo-radar" catches you covering your face [u]while running a red light[/u] - F-E-L-O-N-Y!! Send her to Arizona, we'll treat her right!!
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 6:35:01 PM EDT
Too easy. No pic, no license, no drive. Illinois needs to get their act straightened out, not Florida.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 6:47:21 PM EDT
I wonder how far i would get in the court system if I said I have to wear a baseball cap when I get my Photo because my religion requires me to wear a baseball cap anytime I am Awake...Probably not very far......or that my religion reguires me to wear a ski mask.....In Oklahoma if you wear a mask to a public place other then halloween or costume party its a misdimeanor...if you wear a mask while comiting a felony it becomes a felony in itself...a veil can be concidered as a mask....I mean if a female muslum wears a veil while robbing a bank I wonder if they would try to hit her with the extra felony????
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 6:49:17 PM EDT
Dosnt she get it ...it kinda defeats the purpose of the photo...to "IDENTIFY" the driver so that she cant pass it on to other veiled women....sheeash....
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 6:51:43 PM EDT
This is easy to solve. She should have a regular, full face picture taken for her licence. She could then tape a black piece of paper over the picture, with a rectangular slit for the eyes. She could refuse to take the piece of paper off for male cashiers and traffic cops. That'l be OK with you cops, Riiiiiiiiggghht? --------- Now I'm gonna take a black Sharpie a draw a ski-mask over the picture on my CDL.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 7:00:24 PM EDT
Having to remove your veil for 30 sec. while they take a picture is not a substantial burden. She can cover it up like Erasmus said, and tell the police about her religion all she wants.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 7:31:08 PM EDT
What makes this interesting, in Florida it is legal to wear a mask in public. Also there are laws that state, to substantially restrict your religious rights is verboten. The privilege idea is immaterial in that case. However it is like a Sikh claiming his religious right to wear his ceremonial daggar on an airliner. Will that fly? Somehow I think not. If they can f*ck with our rights regarding guns, nothwithstanding the 2nd due to substantial (so-called)public safety interests they will likely kick her ass and the Sikh, if they choose the same tactic. Like I said I want her to try.....thereby revealing all the poor logic of laws and licenses (which are really defacto National ID cards). Your fishing license doesn't have a picture, neither does a doctor's medical licence or an engineers licence or any number of others (attorney, for instance, LOL). WTF police mainly rely on badges, not picture IDs to represent themselves as officers. Shall I go out on the edge and claim that these picture IDs and licence requirements make it easy to steal someone's identity.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 10:00:57 PM EDT
First of all I feel it is a right to drive, since we have the right to travel and driving is just a method of traveling, and if you can not drive you are really fuc**d up, especially if you live in the country and have to travel a long way to do everything. It is just that it is not mentioned in the Constitution. As to wearing a veil on your drivers license photo she should have to remove the veil unless they decide to make the photo optional for all people. If I was a cop and I was given a photo with a veil I would not let her leave until she proved that she was the one who was issued the license. As to wearing a mask while in public or driving through a red light, I would take that to court. I used to wear a mask in public and even went into banks wearing one. I used to ride my BMW motorcycle all year including the winter in New England and I need the mask and a full face helmet to keep from freezing my face off. And parts of Arizona and Oklahoma are cold enough to need the mask even if you are not on a motorcycle but only walking. By the way I always removed the mask after entering the bank it makes everyone feel better.
Link Posted: 2/4/2002 4:16:31 PM EDT
btt
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 12:49:33 PM EDT
I don't think that lifting her veil for a few seconds to take a photograph comes up to an infringement of her religious rights. However... This stuff about driving being a "privilege" has been taken way too far and has been used to treat us like peons. It is practically impossible to travel anywhere in this country without driving a vehicle on the public highway. Outside the big cities, where some semblance of public transportation exists, you need to drive a car to: Drive to work, to earn your livelihood and stay off welfare. Drive to the grocery store, to feed yourself. Drive to the hospital, to get medical care to save your life. ... etc. The current state of the law seems to be that if you want to avoid the indignities that come with the "privilege" to drive, you have to walk. This is tantamount to saying First Amendment rights are protected only when we write with quill pens. We need to start pushing back and assert an inalienable right to travel. In some parts of the country, you can lose your driver's license if you are not paying child support. While I fully support enforcing the child support laws, enforcing them through restricting the unrelated right to travel is unconstitutional, in my opinion. Everybody has a right to travel, and the state should be able to enact only narrowly tailored restrictions on it, no more. Not to mention the increasing erosion of your Fourth Amendment rights to privacy when you travel in your private car.
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 1:09:23 PM EDT
How about a 3rd voting option? Take the veil off and choke her to death with it! This is going to result in a big waste of taxpayer dollars. Simple, not a right it is a priveledge.
Link Posted: 2/5/2002 1:10:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: Come to Arizona!! Running a red light with your face covered (mask, bandana, etc) is a FELONY!! If a cop sees your face covered or if "photo-radar" catches you covering your face [u]while running a red light[/u] - F-E-L-O-N-Y!! Send her to Arizona, we'll treat her right!!
View Quote
I am not particularly religious, and find myself in the strange position of having to defend other people's lawful religious practices. This country was founded on the basis of freedom of religion. As long as your religious practices do not actually cause harm other people, you are and should be free to practice them. While most common among Muslims, wearing veils are not uncommon in other religions. In some Christian sects, widows wear veils for some period of time after widowhood. While you may agree or disagree with this, if it is not causing harm to you, it should not be your concern. Be and let be. As far as inventing up religious practices to justify misconduct, juries of your peers are usually capable of distinguishing between genuine and invented religious practices. If a woman wearing a veil for genuine religious reasons drove through a red light, and was charged with a felony for doing so, I think she would have a good religious freedom case, and as long as she was separately punished for the red light charge, I would probably vote to acquit on the veil charge. For those interested in the law about religious freedom and religious exceptions, Eugene Volokh has a good article on the subject at: http://[url]www.law.ucla.edu/faculty/volokh/relfree.htm[/url] A final word to consider: Sometimes, supporting some else's liberties may actually help you out down the road, even when you may not have anything to gain directly. As nightstalker has pointed out, members of the Sikh religion have a religious duty to carry a (ceremonial) dagger openly. This has been one of the central parts of their religion for the past 300 years, so there is no question that it is genuine. If a Sikh was arrested for carrying a dagger openly on a public street, and won a religious freedom case, it would actually help all of us, by pointing out the stupidity and futility of the laws that prohibit carrying weapons. ckap(Freedom for all!)sl
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