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Woman Stays Covered Despite Rule; Walks Away Without License

Jan. 22, 2004
Laurie Parker • Monday January 26, 2004

Rubina Khan’s driver’s license is about to expire. She needs to get a new one, but that requires a photograph without any type of head covering. So she’s leaving the Court House with just a phone number to the legal department in Montgomery.

Khan says, “Basically our country is based on having individual rights and for them to take away our rights what kind of democracy are we?” Rubina is a Muslim and her religion requires her to wear what’s called a hijab.

But as of January 7th the state started cracking down on their law about no head coverings in license photos.

The explanation out of Montgomery – well, there isn’t much of one. Khan say, “She said times change and basically this is what they are enforcing now and that’s it. If they want us to do anything then we have to get a private attorney.”

Michael Robinson, with the State’s Legal Department tells NewsChannel 19 that it’s not a religious matter, it’s a security issue.

However, here locally, License Director Mark Craig hopes it’s a controversy that will go away.

“It’s a bad situation and we’re caught right in the middle of it,” Craig says. “Because we are doing what the Department of Public Safety requires of us to do, and when citizens come in to do it we have to refuse them over something we didn’t set. So it puts us looking like a bad person and we are just doing our job,” he says.

And Rubina Khan is standing up for what she believes in – with or without a new driver’s license.

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