Woman withdraws hijab lawsuit against city of Dearborn

Photo courtesy of ADC-Michigan American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Michigan Director and Attorney Fatina Abdrabboh discuss the filing of a lawsuit against the city of Dearborn and Dearborn Police Department last June.

Photo courtesy of ADC-Michigan
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Michigan Director and Attorney Fatina Abdrabboh discuss the filing of a lawsuit against the city of Dearborn and Dearborn Police Department last June.

DEARBORN –  A woman voluntarily withdrew her 2015 federal lawsuit against the city after an investigation revealed that her claims were false that she had been coerced into removing her religious head covering while in police custody for a traffic warrant.

Maha Aldhalimi of Dearborn charged last June that she was forced by police to remove her hijab for her booking photo following an arrest for a September 2014 parking violation warrant.

During a press conference announcing the charges, Aldhalimi’s attorney, Fatina Abdrabboh, said Aldhalimi was crying, shivering and pleading with officers to allow her to keep her hijab on or have a female officer take the photo. Aldhalimi claimed both of those requests were denied.

“The alleged incident and lawsuit attracted a great deal of unfavorable media coverage to Dearborn and to the Dearborn Police Department that lasted for weeks,” Dearborn Public Information Director Mary Laundroche said in a press release.  “But an extensive internal investigation revealed no wrongdoing, and countered the fabricated and damaging accusations that were recklessly made.”

When presented with the evidence of the investigation — which included a video from the Police Department’s booking room — the woman’s attorney withdrew the lawsuit on March 10.

The police investigation was led by Police Captain Issa Shahin under the direction of Police Chief Ronald Haddad.

“Dearborn police remain committed to respecting the rights of all people within our custody and we follow a stringent policy regarding religious head coverings,” Haddad said in the press release. “We knew this lawsuit had no merit and are glad that the people we serve can have confidence that our officers acted properly in this case.”