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Thread: Religious Freedom

  1. #1
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    Posted on Tue, May. 27, 2003

    Veil photo on license to get test in court

    ORLANDO - (AP) -- Nine months after Sultaana Freeman obtained a Florida driver's license that had a photo of her face covered in a veil, she received a letter from the state warning that it would revoke her license unless she returned for a photo with her face uncovered.

    The 35-year-old Muslim refused, saying that revealing her face would violate her beliefs, and the license was revoked. A judge today will begin hearing her lawsuit, which seeks to have her license reinstated. The case pits religious freedom against the state's argument that allowing hidden faces on driver's licenses would put public safety at risk.

    Freeman's attorney, Howard Marks, who was hired by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said that his client believes that taking a photograph of her face would violate the Koran, the Muslim holy book.

    ''She believes her religion prohibits taking pictures of facial features,'' Marks said.

    SAFETY ARGUMENT

    But Florida's attorneys argue that having a license photo in which the driver's face is readily identifiable is an issue of public safety.

    The veil reveals only Freeman's eyes.

    ''Driver's license photos are used by police officers in many circumstances, from using the digital images in a computer data bank to help identify criminals, missing persons, victims of crime,'' said Jason Vail, an assistant attorney general. ``The photo is the primary biometric measure for determining identity.''

    Other religious Muslim women have their uncovered faces photographed for their licenses, and the driver's license bureau can make special arrangements, such as asking all men in the area to leave when a religious woman has her face exposed for the picture, Vail said.

    ''Our position is lifting her veil for the photograph doesn't violate her religious beliefs,'' Vail said.

    Both sides plan to call experts on Muslim law.

    But Marks said that is beside the point since a person's beliefs don't have to be part of a greater religious doctrine to be protected under Florida law.

    ''Whether one Muslim woman does it or two Muslim women do it, as long as my client believes her religious beliefs prohibit it,'' Marks said. ``It is not for the court to be an arbiter of religious scripture.''

    OTHER STATES

    Many other states issue driver's licenses without photographs, and Florida issues thousands of driver's training permits annually that don't have photos, Marks said. Other courts also have ruled that fundamentalist Christians who also have religious prohibitions against having their photographs taken can get licenses without one.

    Freeman, a housewife who moved from Illinois more than two years ago, received the letter warning that her driver's license would be revoked three months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    Marks said it was not a coincidence.

    Vail denied any relation.

    ''It had nothing to do with [the attacks],'' Vail said. ``The timing was coincidence.''

    source: The Miami Herald 5/27/03

    So, she can't show her face, but she can drive a car?





























    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
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    In the UK everyone must wear a crash helmet if they are riding a motorcycle on the Queen's highway.

    However if someone's religeous beliefs demand that they wear a turban (my apologies if that is the wrong terminology) then they do not have to wear a safety helmet.

    I am of the opinion that, if a law exists then it should be the same for everyone. Anything else is discrimination, whether negative or positive.

    In your case my opinion is that, if a photographic licence is required, then it is required. If someone does not have one then they should not be allowed to drive. It is her decision not to get the licence, therefore it is her who is controlling this situation.

    But you know I take a very simple view of these issues.

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
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    OMG!
    We agree!
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
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    Originally posted by clocker@27 May 2003 - 21:50
    OMG!
    We agree!
    Would you like to take a contrary postition or should I.

    I'm not fussed either way. Tell you what I will argue that the state is wrong and she is right.

    OK

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
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    OMG
    I agree as well.
    It's totally ridiculous.
    Driving is a privilege not a right.

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    I think all women should have topless photos, for that extra information when an identity is in question.

    If women choose not to get a license, that is their decision.

    I also think it should be legal to shoot any person talking on a cell phone in their car.
    Aren't we in the trust tree, thingey?

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
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    Again I couldn't agree more.

    It appears the right thinking element have at last arrived in the same place.

    It must be the Universal Law of diminishing entropy.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Yeah, that must be it.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    ah, you whitebread, milquetoast honky crackers. the challenging of culturally-biased state policies is the status quo, whether you like it or not, so sit there and complain. But don't be mistaken, history will paint you the savages.

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Requiring a visible face in a drivers license photo is a culturally biased state policy?
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

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