CLEVELAND – The Quran commands Muslim women to cover themselves in the
presence of non-relatives.

So when A’isha Samad of Cleveland, Ohio, went without her headscarf, it was
not by choice.

“It is a protection of [my] modesty,” said Samad. “It’s no different [than]
if I didn’t have a blouse on.”

Samad’s self-proclaimed nightmare began two years ago when she failed to
appear in court for a hearing related to the custody of a grandchild.

A judge ordered her to be detained in the county jail, where she was forced
to remove her headscarf.

For security reasons, guards remove everything from inmates entering the jail.

“Contraband and security play such a vital role here that that’s almost the
first thing that gets triggered at intake,” said Ken Kochevar of the
Cuyahoga County Correctional Center (search).

But Samad had no criminal history. In fact, charges against her were
eventually dropped.

She says she asked for the same covering privileges the jail grants Muslim
men, but her request was denied.

Now she’s suing the county for discrimination…


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