Philadelphia Police Captain John Darby said the 5 year-old girl who was kidnapped Monday from her school has been found. Police say they are investigating whether the girl was sexually assaulted while she was abducted. A woman dressed in Muslim garb similar to the girl’s mother took her from school on Monday.
A 5-year-old girl taken from her school in Philadelphia was found early Tuesday morning near 69th Street and Marshall Road in Upper Darby, under a jungle gym and crying for help. The girl’s mother Latifah Rashid has expressed her anger or disappointment that the school didn’t call her or check the suspect’s ID. Asim Abdul Rashid, grandfather of the missing child, pointed out the irony of a school allowing a stranger to walk into a school and take a child out of school just weeks after a stranger walked into a school and murdered children — as in the case of the Sandy Hook massacre.
A niqab (Arabic: نِقاب niqāb , “veil” or “mask”; also called a ruband ) is a cloth which covers the face as a part of sartorial hijab. A hijab is a veil (physically a scarf) which covers the head. The hajib is usually worn by Muslim women beyond the age of puberty in the presence of non-related adult males. Hajib can further refer to the traditional head, face, or body covering worn by Muslim women or men. The niqab (face covering) is more extreme, and is worn by some Muslim women in public areas and in front of non-mahram adult males. The niqab is more commonly worn in the Arab countries of the Arabian Peninsula such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the UAE. Various forms of niqab are also worn in countries such as Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, India, some parts of Israel, southern provinces of Iran, and other areas with sizeable Muslim populations … The terms niqab and burqa are often incorrectly used interchangeably; a niqab covers the face while a burqa covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground.
Other Controversies Regarding the Niqab
The niqab is uncommon in the US, except in larger cities. In 2002, Sultaana Freeman, (aka Sandra Keller, who converted to Islam in 1997 when marrying a Muslim man) sued the U.S. state of Florida for the right to wear a niqab for her driver’s license photo.
Florida appellate court ruled that there was no violation in the state requiring her to show her face to a camera in a private room with only a female employee to take the picture, in exchange for the privilege of driving. The prevailing view in Florida is currently that hiding one’s face on a form of photo identification defeats the purpose of having the picture taken,
In the United States, 15 other states (including Arkansas, California, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, and Louisiana) have provisions that allow for driver’s licenses absent of an identifying photograph in order to accommodate individuals who may have a religious reason to not have a photograph taken.
Police reports show Sultaana Freeman once covered her children’s bruises with Muslim garb, refused child care workers requests to check the children for injuries, and told the foster children to lie about the bruises and broken bones. She was arrested in Illinois for beating her three-year-old twin foster children and breaking the arm of one of the girls by pushing her down. The children were removed from her home, according to records from the Decatur Police Department. She pleaded guilty and served 18-months probation.
Freeman’s husband Mark was caught by police in Illinois with fake IDs bearing his photograph and other people’s names after they arrested him for recklessly firing a gun while he was wearing his Muslim garb. When asked about the false identification, Freeman tried to hide behind a veil of secrecy. Police had to get a search warrant to enter his home for their investigation. Freeman told them he could not let them in because they were not of the Muslim faith.
In October 2005 the Arlington Heights Police Department was drawn into a controversy while keeping peace at a protest at a Minutemen conference in Arlington Heights at Christian Liberty Academy. The CAIR-Chicago organization (Council on American-Islamic Relations) charged that Ms. Rehana Khan had her hijab inappropriately pulled off her head by a police officer after she had been handcuffed, and while she was being taken to the squad car. CAIR-Chicago claimed Ms. Khan’s religious rights were further infringed upon when she was taken to the police station, searched in the presence of a male officer with out her hijab, and placed into lock-up without her hijab.
According to Arlington Heights Police Department Capt. Jerry Lambert, “She socked one officer on the side of his face and hit the other two in the shoulders. A female was patting her down and touching the scarf on her head when it slipped off two or three inches off her head.” The police captain also stated that a department inquiry found officers followed proper procedures.
In April 2006, then 24-year-old Rehana Khan pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery after the clash with the Arlington Heights police at the immigration rights demonstration. Three others — Eric Zenke, 18, Kara Norlander, 24 and Cynthia Gomez, 28 — were also charged with misdemeanor counts of battery and resisting arrest. All four pleaded guilty to battery. The resisting arrest charges were dropped.
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