Muslims dislike bill banning headwear in license photos

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: March 2, 2009 - 11:56 AM

A St. Cloud lawmaker says a bill that would ban any kind of headwear in a driver's license photo is a matter of public safety. But some Muslims say they have a religious right to cover their heads.

State Rep. Steve Gottwalt says banning headwear would make it easier for law enforcement to identify people and it would make it fair for everyone.

But Suban Khalif says Muslim women wear a head scarf nearly 24 hours a day as part of their religion, and taking it off — even for a few minutes — is a big deal. Khalif and other Muslim women say their facial features should be enough for law enforcement to identify them.

Gottwalt's bill has exceptions. If a person has a deformity or a medical condition that requires headwear, then they can wear it for their driver's license picture. Gottwalt says he's hoping to get a committee hearing for the bill soon.

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Information from: WCCO-TV, http://www.wcco.com

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