Atlanta police sued over hijab dispute

A Muslim woman is claiming in a federal lawsuit that she was dismissed from the Atlanta Police Department’s civilian honor guard because she refused to remove her traditional headscarf.

Helen Lane says in a federal lawsuit filed this week that the head of the voluntary guard laughed at her when she told him she would wear her hijab at a September 2006 funeral. She said she felt “humiliated, hurt and was traumatized” by the laughter. Lane, who is seeking $250,000 in damages, said she was told by another Atlanta official that “the hijab was like a swastika.”

The city has denied the allegations and the honor guard has since been disbanded.

Associated Press, 28 December 2009