Muslim Woman Sues After Being Ordered to Remove Headscarf During Prison Visit

May 25, 2005

Source: The Associated Press

On May 25, 2005 The Associated Press reported, "to Cynthia Rhouni, the black scarf that always covers her head and shoulders in the presence of men shows she's a devout Muslim woman... Rhouni claims in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday that male prison guards ordered her to take off her scarf, or hijab, in order to visit an inmate at the maximum-security Columbia Correctional Facility in Portage, north of Madison. Once inside the prison, several male inmates were able to see her scarfless. Her estranged husband, the inmate who introduced Rhouni to the Islamic faith, grew furious. Her teenage son said the inmates were looking at his mother's exposed upper body... The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Madison, accuses two guards and the state Department of Corrections of violating her constitutional rights to practice religion."