NYC Agrees To Pay Out Millions After Muslim Women Told To Remove Hijabs For Mug Shots 

(Shutterstock/ sasha2109)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Robert Schmad Contributor
Font Size:

New York City will pay out $17.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by two Muslim women who claim their religious rights were violated when they were instructed to remove their hijabs for arrest photos, court records filed Friday show.

Jamilla Clark and Arwa Aziz sued the city in 2018 after they were arrested for violating protective orders and ordered to remove their head coverings so mug shots could be taken, according to court documents. The city agreed to a settlement with the two and, after accounting for legal and administrative fees, is expected to pay out just over $13 million split among people who were told to remove religious head coverings for mug shots between March 2014 and August 2021. (RELATED: Biden State Department Shells Out Taxpayer Dollars To ‘Queer’ Muslim Writers In India)

The New York Police Department amended its policy in 2020 to allow people to have their mug shots taken in religious headwear, so long as it doesn’t cover their faces, according to the New York Times.

“This settlement resulted in a positive reform for the NYPD,” a spokesperson for the New York City Law Department told the DCNF.

“The agreement carefully balances the department’s respect for firmly held religious beliefs with the important law enforcement need to take arrest photos,” the spokesperson continued. “This resolution was in the best interest of all parties.”

In New York City, authorities issue orders of protection to safeguard individuals from people who are “abusing, harassing, threatening, and/or intimidating” them, according to the New York Police Department.

New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers patrol on motorcycles ahead of the arrival of US President Joe Biden’s motorcade in New York City on February 26, 2024. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

NYPD declined to comment and referred the DCNF to the city’s law department.

Settlements will range from $7,824 to $13,125, according to a website maintained by lawyers representing the Muslim women. That settlement is subject to approval from Judge Analisa Torres of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the NYT reported.

“When they forced me to take off my hijab, I felt as if I were naked; I’m not sure if words can capture how exposed and violated I felt,” Clark said, according to the NYT.

Lawyers for Clark and Aziz estimate that at least 3,600 people qualify for compensation under this settlement, NYT reported.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact