Muslim Woman Fights Government Order to Unveil for Driver's License Picture

March 30, 2003

Source: Los Angelas Times,1,5567236.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dreligion

On March 30, 2003 the Los Angeles Times reported that Sultaana LaKiana Myke Freeman, "the 35-year-old Florida mother of two and convert to Islam, has taken the state to court because it has refused to issue her a new driver's license unless she agrees to be photographed with her face revealed. For Freeman, the lawsuit is about her right to follow what she believes is a divine precept. 'I veil to obey my Lord,' she said Thursday, speaking through the full facial veil called a niqab. However, she added, she also needs to drive... Florida officials deny that they have made a scapegoat of Freeman, or that religion is an issue in her case. They say the Legislature adopted a law in 1967 that requires every driver's license applicant to submit 'a full-faced photograph or digital image of the licensee'... A Muslim academic advisor from the University of Central Florida... testified that Freeman's strict interpretation of her faith means she has to keep the veil on except in instances where her life might be in danger."