Man claiming court security told him to remove kufi suing - KMSP-TV

Man claiming court security told him to remove kufi suing

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Khalil Fareed (Credit: WJBK) Khalil Fareed (Credit: WJBK)
DEARBORN, Mich. (WJBK) -

Khalil Fareed is Muslim and wears a headdress called a kufi to symbolize his religious faith, but he says his religious freedom was violated back in May when he tried to attend a hearing at 36th District Court.

"She told me you can't wear that cap in here, the security guard. So I said this is not a cap, it's a kufi. It's for religious purposes. It's not for fashion, and I just sat back down."

Fareed said the security guard told him to leave, even got her supervisor involved and they insisted he remove his kufi while in the courtroom.

Fareed, a longtime realtor, was there assisting a friend with a landlord-tenant dispute, but he said he was made to feel as though he did something wrong.

"He was discriminated upon, harassed, intimidated and made to feel like less than a human being simply because of wearing his kufi, his religious attire," said attorney Nabih Ayad.

He has filed suit in federal court against G4S Secure Solutions, the company that employees the two security guards in questions. He alleges they violated Fareed's First Amendment rights.

Fareed wrote to Judge Marilyn Atkins and told her what had happened in her courtroom before she took the bench. She wrote back, apologized, and said she never instructs court officers to deny a person from wearing a clothing item that is worn for religious purposes.

36th District Court confirmed kufis are allowed, but fashion hats are not.

Meanwhile, G4S Secure Solutions issued a statement. It said, "This matter has just been brought to our attention. G4S is committed to ensuring that all members of the public who encounter our security officers are treated with dignity and respect. A full investigation will be conducted and appropriate action will be taken."

As for Fareed, he wants that action to be a lesson.

"What they need to do is give these companies some civics 101 in constitutional rights. That's what I would like to see done."

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