The Niqabi Paralegal

Al-Muhabajah has a new blog called "The Niqabi Paralegal" which focuses on legal issues of interest to Muslims (especially in America). She has started out by focusing on legal aspects of the Sultana Freeman case, unearthing all sorts of fascinating and relevant case history, such as the fact that the US Supreme Court, responding to the argument that driving is a privelege, not a right, ruled in the case of Sherbert vs Verner that "It is too late in the day to doubt that the liberties of religion and expression may be infringed by the denial of or placing of conditions upon a benefit or privilege". I stand partially corrected.

She also found the case of Bureau of Motor Vehicles of The State of Indiana v. Pentecostal House of Prayer, Inc, (1978). which had a Christian who believed that photographs were graven images and didn't want a photo driver's license. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld this right.

AM also has a separate post devoted to the current status of state law in regard to non-photo drivers' licenses and one about religious relevance. Overall, my argument against Freeman's wish to wear the veil for the photo is ultimately grounded in Islam and still stands. If the court rules that the photo ID is indeed for identification and not for licensing, then she has to make the religious decision not to drive. But she can mount a credible argument that it shouldn't be considered ID. Regradless, I still have to think through this issue a lot more, as AM's research has really brought a lot of facts to the surface that are directly relevant and require some consideration.

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