Friday, December 14, 2012

Muslim Cabbie Sues Over Commission Dress Code That Bars Religious Clothing

According to yesterday's St. Louis Post Dispatch, Muslim cab driver Raja Awais Naeem has filed a religious discrimination lawsuit in state court against the city of St. Louis, its Metropolitan Taxicab Commission and Whelan Security, a private security company apparently in charge of security at the St. Louis airport.  Naeem, originally from Pakistan, wears religiously mandated clothing-- a kufi, a kurta (loose-fitting shirt) and shalwar (loose fitting pants).  This violates the Taxicab Commission's dress code that calls for a white shirt, black pants and does not permit a kufi (but does permit a baseball cap). He has been given a ticket by Whelan Security for wearing "foreign country religious dress." At other times his taxi license has been suspended and last week he was arrested and charged with trespassing. The Missouri Human Rights Commission issued Naeem a right-to-sue letter on his complaints.