Muslim Woman Sues, Demands Officials Remove Her Hijab-Less Mugshot From Open Records

Photo Credit: WHAS11

24-year-old Clara Ruplinger revealed that she was left feeling disgraced, devastated, and a failure after she was forced to remove her hijab in a room full of men following her arrest in 2018.

She has now filed a lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, the city, Mayor Greg Fischer, and two other people.

“So much pressure comes with wearing a hijab in Western society,” she said, stating that she felt the pressure in July 2018.

She joined the protests in downtown Louisville, where she locked arms with other protesters, blocking the elevators to the immigration court. She said that even with the chaos, her hijab brought her peace.

Photo Credit: WHAS11

“When I wear it, and when I feel it on me, I’m reminded how to conduct myself in a way God has asked to me,” she said. “With compassion, truth and justice.”

Ruplinger had joined in the protests against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies when she got arrested. The first mug shot was taken while she still had her hijab on, but for the second one, they forced her to remove it in a room of men.

This, she says, was a violation of her religious rights. She made multiple requests to have the mug shot taken in a private room with women, but her requests were ignored.

Photo Credit: WHAS11

“Those questions should have never been asked,” she said. “But eventually, because of this intimidation and pressure, I took my hijab off, which was really hard.”

Soha Saiyed, Ruplinger’s lawyer, stated that they are seeking monetary compensation. They want the mug shot without her hijab to be removed, and for every officer to be trained in religious rights.

“Clara’s rights were violated, both under federal law and state law. Clara’s not asking for anything beyond what every American is entitled to,” Saiyed said.

Ruplinger added: “I felt like I spent all this energy and time fighting for the rights of others. I couldn’t even stand up for my own rights.”

Photo Credit: WHAS11

Saiyed has stated that they haven’t determined the amount of money they are going to ask for, and added that she had received an email from the county attorney highlighting possible policy changes.

The department of corrections representative stated that they could not comment on the matter.

Sources: WHAS11