Monday, April 13, 2009

Police Force Woman To Take Picture In Her Underwear

For the past few days, I've been reading about a story that's been making the rounds on various right-wing websites. It's about the events surrounding a recent arrest. On April 5th, Nour Hadid was arrested and charged with the murder of her two year-old niece, Bhia. However, it isn't the tragic death of this child that has made this incident newsworthy to many people. Instead, some people are indignant about the fact that Hadid objected to the police in Cook County, Illinois forcing her to take a picture in her underwear.

Like many other Muslim women, Hadid wears hijaab whenever she is outside her home. However, for her police photo, her outer garment was taken from her. In the photograph, she can be seen in her underwear, attempting to use her hands to cover her chest. It's quite easy to see that she is truly mortified.

I thought about including the picture in this post, but I decided against it. I feel like I'd be showing the same lack of respect for rights that others are exhibiting with this incident. Some people are using this story as another opportunity to express their xenophobia. The comments can be found in every conversation that I've seen so far.

"You come to our country, there are certain laws, cultural values and codes of conduct that we've had for 230 years. If you don't accept them, then kindly get the fuck out. And tell your neighbors back in your pissant little country to stay the fuck out in the future."

"You know how to tell when an Ayrab goes thru puberty? When he takes his diaper off his butt and wraps it around his stupid head! I despise those jerks walking around this country acting like they're hot stuff on a stick."

"I say we respect her culture - she said she was guilty so it’s time to bury her waist deep and stone her to death. The scarf is optional."

"Women have fought long and hard to gain the freedoms we have, and even though there are plenty of bimbos on our landscape who could serve as poster children for harsher controls on women (Octo-mom comes to mind), still I don’t want our society, with all of its shortcomings, to devolve into some sort of medieval mindset."

No one has a right to see any part of my body. The sheer number of fake ids in circulation are proof that being able to see faces doesn't ensure that we know we have the right person when we see one. The people in those "pissant little countries" have been living here since before this nation was created. Their way of life is just as American as that of the average person walking around here. Furthermore, there are ways of dealing with this issue that do not violate the religious beliefs of Muslims. In other countries, female police officers deal with situations where a woman's face must be seen. It's just that simple. Once a female officer has established who the woman is, then there is no need to de-robe her.

I did see one comment that explains why forcing Hadid to take off her covering in the photograph doesn't really help the police investigation.

"The purpose of a mug shot is to id the defendant to potential witnesses viewing the photo, hence not allowing some persons to alter their appearance before the photo is taken. That is not relevant here: she was not arrested in the act of committing a crime, and presumably came to the authorities’ attention when they began looking for suspects in the home after the little girl was reported dead to the authorities. Since the murder apparently occurred within the home, presumably any witness already knows what she looks like."
In fact, those who believe in personal liberty should support people being able to live according to their religious beliefs, to the extent that they are not trying to force others to join them. It's no more reasonable to say that we have a right to see everyone's face than it is reasonable to claim we have a right to see everyone's genitalia.

Also, it seems that many of the Americans weighing in on this incident are unfamiliar with the concept of "innocent until proven guilty". It's funny (in a sad, pathetic sort of way) how they are adamant that people should be forced to adapt to the way things are done in this country, while proving that they don't even believe in doing so themselves. The hypocrisy of some of my fellow countrymen is truly amazing.


Maegan la Mala said...

I made the mistake of looking at some of the sites you mention and it's disgusting the dual exploitations communities of color have to deal with when there are crimes in their community.

Eric Dondero said...

Bint, permission to reprint in its entirety and without edit at Libertarian Republican blog?

If okay, please shoot me an email at or call me on my cell 979-583-6875.



PS probably put a sub-header like "DISSENTING VIEW".

Anonymous said...

True, many of the comments are truly disquesting. However, I live in the area that this occured and have been following the story very closely. Ms. Hadid, confessed to the murder in detail, not to a non Arabic speaking police officer or newly trained translator, but to a fluent Arabic speaking Arab FBI agent, there was no miscommunication. The local pd (Orland Park Police) did not even conduct the interview, it was the special crimes task force. The mug shot is a matter of public record, so when the press asked for it, it was provided, as is the case with the dozen or so mug shots I see everyday on the news. When a person is charged with a crime, there is a mugshot taken, granted not every town makes a women remove her hijab, I don't know that it depends on local law or severity of the crime, but this woman confessed to repeatedly beating this innocent baby until she caused her death. Let us not forget that. Her husband instantly tried to turn this into an issue of religion, and hired a high powered famous attorney (the same guy that repped Drew Peterson) to spin this into a civil liberities issue. Not to mention that when arrested, and having confessed to the crime, you lose certain rights. Personally, I find it an abonination that in the wake of the murder (yes, the medical examiner determined it to be a homocide, not random ER staff as her attorney's have been saying) that the focus is on her appearance and not the crime. A pious Musliminah would not continually beat a child for four days. Honestly, when Mr. Hadid said that people had been continually calling him about the dress in the photo, I don't know that I have ever been so angry. His neice is dead, his wife charged with the murder and he's discussing equally insensitive people and how they are offended by her lack of immodesty and not the murder charge?! I'm sorry, but I have yet to speak to a Muslim that is as concerned with the hijab as they are with the murder, and honestly most feel that if she is guilty, as she confessed to, she doesn't deserve to wear it anyway.

Dori said...

Anonymous, being a confessed murderer does not take away your right to not be assaulted.

Anonymous said...

assaulted by whom? That wasn't even thrown around until after her arraignment, by her husband to the media. The entire police department has been investigated, she had no markings on her, and the interview and interrogation was not even conducted by the Orland P.D. it was the South Suburban Special Crimes Task Force. Personally, the more I read about this case, the more I speak with people, it is a more and more obvious that his comments truly are distracting to many people (particularly online). The Muslims I speak to face to face, honestly couldn't give a rat's behind about her or claims as it is unIslamic to beat a person to death. I do not believe that she was assaulted, she asked for no medical treatment or even a physical to document "abuse" the only thing she requested was a Quran, which was provided to her. As far as the mug shot goes she was not wearing a typical hijab it was one that was connected to the shirt and she had the tank top on underneath it. The police department followed proper procedure and the fact that is the issue and not the crime is horrible. Let me defend a woman to wear hijab in a mug shot? No, a mug shot is not a state i.d. or a driver's license, or a passport, it a criminal record. No one laid a hand that woman, if you can't do the time don't do the crime. The law is the law, dispite how that may effect a person's culture.