The president of the Muslim Students’ Association at the University of Colorado called Monday for the Boulder City Council to reconsider its proposed “rules of decorum” because they would prohibit people from covering their faces during public meetings.
City officials are defending the proposal, saying the council isn’t trying to infringe on anyone’s rights to free speech or religious expression.
The city last week released a draft version of proposed rules for how the public should behave during weekly council meetings. If approved as drafted, they would prohibit people from addressing comments toward individual council members, disrobing, stomping their feet, shouting, jeering or otherwise disrupting a meeting.
The mayor would have the authority to remove people from the room, or possibly have them arrested, for violating any of the rules.
Rasheed Lawal, president of the Muslim Students' Association at CU, said he’s most concerned about a specific provision that would prohibit people from wearing masks, “or material of any kind that obscures the face of the person.”
“There’s not a whole lot of sisters around here who wear the whole-face covering,” he said. “But there are a couple.”