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CAIR-FL Condemns Miami Police Dept. for Forcing Muslim Woman Assisting Protesters Remove Her Hijab for Her Booking

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(MIAMI, FL, 6/19/2020) The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, condemns the Miami Police Department for forcing a Muslim woman to remove her hijab for a booking photo after being arrested during a protest last Saturday.

NBC News reported that Alaa Massri, “a Muslim woman arrested during a Black Lives Matter protest in Miami was forced to remove her hijab for a booking photo.”

See: Muslim woman arrested in Miami protest forced to remove hijab for booking photo

The City of Miami Police Department wrongfully arrested Alaa Massri, a USF student providing medical aid to protesters participating in a Black Lives Matter support march on June 10th. Following her arrest, the Miami Police unlawfully removed her hijab for booking. Following this, they did not allow Ms. Massri to have her hijab for the remainder of the seven hours she stayed incarcerated in the presence of men.

CAIR-Florida attorney, Omar Saleh, stated:

“We believe that Miami Police’s forceful removal of Ms. Alaa Massri’s hijab for a public booking photo is a severe violation of her constitutionally protected religious freedoms. Keeping her from wearing the hijab for over 7 hours while in custody shows deliberate disregard for Ms. Massri’s constitutional rights." Attorney Saleh added, “CAIR-Florida is prepared to address legal violations by the department.”

Alaa Massri has started a Launchgood fundraising campaign #Justice4Alaa ( aiming to help her cover costs of her defense, cover costs for a civil suit, support organizations standing up for black lives, and support a campaign to change all police department policies in Florida to protect the hijab of Muslim women when arrested.

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