To Veil or Not to Veil, that is the question.

by Yerusalyim 68 Replies latest jw friends

  • Yerusalyim

    What say you on the following news article?

    Woman sues to hide face in license photo
    Associated Press

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Experts in Islamic law are being called to testify in the lawsuit of a Muslim woman fighting a state order to take off her veil for her driver's license photo.

    Sultanna Freeman, 35, says Florida's insistence on photographing her face violates her religious rights.

    "I don't unveil ... because it would be disobeying my Lord," Freeman testified Tuesday at the start of her non-jury trial.

    Assistant Attorney General Jason Vail argued that having an easily identifiable photo on a driver's license is a matter of public safety.

    "It's the primary method of identification in Florida and the nation," Vail said. "I don't think there can be any doubt there is a public safety interest."

    Freeman's attorneys argue that state officials didn't care that she wore a veil in her Florida driver's license photo until after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, an allegation the state denies.

    "This is about religious liberty. It's about whether this country is going to have religious diversity," said Howard Marks, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

    Both sides planned to call experts in Islamic law at the trial, which continues Wednesday. A copy of the Quran has been entered into evidence.

    Freeman, a convert to Islam previously known as Sandra Kellar, wore her veil for the photo on the Florida driver's license she obtained after moving to the state in 2001.

    Nine months later, she received a letter from the state warning that it would revoke her license unless she returned for a photo with her face uncovered.

    Freeman claims her religious beliefs require her to keep her head and face covered out of modesty and that her faith prohibits her face from being photographed.

  • Megaera

    I wonder if she is veiled in her passport photo?

    I wonder if she realizes that if every Muslim woman insisted on being veiled in their ID photographs, she could be mistaken for someone else very easily? Maybe she needs to be incarcerated for a mistaken identity for a while to realize that there are things - like the freedom she enjoys going from her home to where ever - that outweigh religious freedom.

    I dunno.... unless she's letting other veiled friends use her driver's licence... it doesn't make sense that a person wouldn't want a photo ID showing their whole face.


  • Hamas

    On this occassion I think that the Muslim woman should obey the rights and laws of the land If she wants this license. It is something that she is going to have to do in order to get this license; although I admire her religious stance on the subject and can understand it, one persons religious laws should not overwrite the laws set down by the state.

  • gitasatsangha

    At last we know the REAL reason Saudis won't let their women drive.

  • Seven

    Personally I feel she should lose the veil and get the picture taken like everyone else but is the driver's license a license to drive or a national indentification card of sorts? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin. allows for a paper license to be issued to those claiming a religious exemption. Her previous state of residence issued her a photo license with the veil which makes me wonder if she does have a legitimate gripe.

    I wonder if she drives with her veil in place? In some states you're not permitted to hang dice or the like from your rear view mirror because it is distracting and blocks your vision. And a veil doesn't?

    Anyhow, I hope they can reach a compromise without wasting too much of the taxpayer's money.

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (5) allows states to issue non-photo commercial driver's licenses if the driver has religious objections to a photo license. Al-Muhajabah

    Freeman was issued a photo driver's license in the state of Illinois(previous residence)with the veil covering her face when she could have applied for the religious exemption.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    If the issue is identification then why not put her fingerprints on the license. Let's face it if you saw a veiled woman commit a crime then you would remember the veil.

    A driver's licence is often used as a form of identification but where do we draw the line? Is a driver's license a permit to drive a vehicle or a form of identification.

    Interesting comment about the passport. If she is unveiled there then she might have to carry it with her (probably a good idea anyways if she is in the US) And if she has that then there is no need for the unveiled driver's license

    Religious freedom is a strong belief in many places and takes precednece over many other laws.

  • Megaera

    SevenofNine writes:

    I wonder if she drives with her veil in place? In some states you're not permitted to hang dice or the like from your rear view mirror because it is distracting and blocks your vision. And a veil doesn't?

    There are lots of Muslims where I live and I've seen veiled women driving. I won't comment further.

    On the other hand, not all Muslims are as extreme as this, and will permit their photographs to be taken. Some only cover their hair and neck. Others only leave their eyes showing. Some even cover their eyes with a netting that allows them to see out, but doesn't allow other people to see them.

    I hope this woman's photo album gets subpoenaed into evidence. If there are family photos of her since her conversion to Islam, without the veil, she really doesn't have much of a case, does she?


  • expatbrit

    Why doesn't she just wear a transparent veil?


  • Yerusalyim

    My Opinion,

    Driving is a privelege, not a right. She doesn't have to have a photo without the veil, but if she doesn't take the photo she shouldn't be allowed to drive. The finger print issue wouldn't work in this case because the cop on the beat is not prepared nor qualified to do a finger print analysis.

  • Francois

    The veil isn't hanging from the rear view mirror, it's hanging from the woman's face. Big difference.

    Frankly, I think the state driver's licenses are nothing more than a form of national ID.


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