DMV apologizes to Muslim woman for taking off religious head scarf.
By Brian Flores FOX 5 San Diego Staff
June 3, 2010
OCEANSIDE, Calif., – Is it discrimination or miscommunication ? An Oceanside woman claimed she was discriminated at a branch of the Department of Motor Vehicles back in February.
Dina Rabie said that during a trip to the Oceanside DMV office about three months ago, an employee told her that she had to take of her “hijab” or headscarf.
“It’s a religious thing. It’s for Muslim women. you have to wear it. It’s more than covering your hair,” said Rabie.
But when she posed to take her license picture, after moving to San Diego from New Jersey, she claimed the DMV employee told her that she needed to take it off because ‘it was the rules.’
“Everybody was looking at me, and I was very embarassed actually,” she said. “I was like, I have my New Jersey drivers license, I have my green card, and I never had a problem with that, and I never had to take off my scarf in public.”
According to Dina, taking off the hijab in public is similar to being naked. Nonetheless, shocked and embarrassed, she complied and took the picture anyway. With her mother and brother waiting outside, she said she was in tears after the incident.
“He said, this is not New Jersey or New York. This is California,” she said of the DMV employee.
But now with the help of the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, she wants her message public, and doesn’t want anybody to go through her situation, no matter what religion they believe.
“I just don’t want to see anybody in my situation. It was very embarrassing. everybody was looking at me like I’m from a different planet or something,” said Rabie.
Since the incident, the DMV said this was a misunderstanding between the employee and Dina. In a statement, the DMV said: “This isolated incident is a very unfortunate misunderstanding/communication between the customer and the employee who was taking the photo. It is a long standing policy that customers may keep their head coverings on if they are needed for religious reasons. The only stipulation is that the face has to be totally visible (eyes, nose, mouth) with no shadows.”
The DMV also said the field office manager has reviewed the policy with the employee, and steps have been taken to stop misunderstandings in the future. The DMV field office manager also apologized to Dina and arranged for her to come in next Monday to retake the photo, said the DMV.
However Dina said she is unsure whether she will do that.
“I’m very embarassed to be in the same situation or to be treated in a special way or something,” said Rabie.
The DMV said they will also hold a refresher course on religious head coverings policy at field offices next Wednesday.
The Islamic onslaught of America continues, and unfortunately non-Muslim continue to bow down to the demands of Muslims. All Americans should be outraged that our brave troops are overseas fighting the violent jihad, and yet our weak government is letting the lawful jihad slowly, tear us apart from within.