On Tuesday, 6th September 2016, 34-year-old Rabab Musa, claims she was wrongfully arrested by the New York Police Department and forcefully stripped of her hijab whilst there were male Police officers present, she has since filed a lawsuit against the police department.
At approximately 6 pm police arrived at a Starbucks in midtown where they arrested Rabab, a mother of four, after they received a report of an assault, they charged Rabab with Misdemeanor assault, the police have not elaborated on why Rabab was arrested as the charges Rabab received were dropped.
Rabab was taken to Midtown South Precinct stationhouse, she was paraded in front of male police officers and other prisoner and told to remove her hijab without given a reason. Rabab obliged and had her photograph taken in front of other men. Rabab claimed in her lawsuit that, "For Muslim women who wear hijab, being forced to remove the hijab in public and being paraded around without it is akin to being paraded around naked."
Rabab was held at the police department for over 6 hours, she was placed in a cell and denied the right to call her family. She was interrogated for over an hour and told to "confess to what she did,”, the offence itself being a misdemeanor.
Aymen Aboushi, Ms Musa's Lawyer stated that says the ordeal violated her religious freedom, she told DNAinfo, "One of the most astounding things here is she was handled by several officers, none of whom wanted to tell her why they were detaining her,".
Rabab Musa is suing for unspecified damages.