Muslim woman paid $120K in suit alleging Ramsey County jail forced her to remove hijab, strip

Source: Star Tribune

By Paul Walsh

A six-figure settlement and sweeping changes in how female Muslim inmates are treated in Minnesota are among the results of a lawsuit after Ramsey County jailers forced a woman to remove her hijab and undress following her arrest over a traffic offense.

Aida Shyef Al-Kadi of St. Louis Park appeared at a news conference Tuesday with her attorneys at the Minneapolis headquarters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to announce the settlement approved late last month in U.S. District Court by Judge John Tunheim.

“It was one of the most humiliating and harmful experiences of my life,” Al-Kadi, 57, said of her treatment in the jail in August 2013 that she alleged violated her constitutional and religious rights. “I knew that I did not want any other Muslim woman to experience what I did.”

Along with the $120,000 payout, the settlement includes having the jail put specific rules in place on how to accommodate inmates with religious headwear during the booking photo process.

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