Muslim man sues over having to remove cap
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Muslim man is suing a security company, claiming his religious rights were violated when its guards demanded he remove his cap before entering Nashville's Juvenile Justice Center.
Rashid al-Qadir (ahl-kahd-EER') claims security guards violated his First Amendment right to the free exercise of his religion by telling him he could not wear the small, brimless cap called a kufi. Al-Qadir says he offered to remove the kufi for inspection but then wanted to put it back on.
The guards refused and demanded he leave the building. Al-Qadir says he left voluntarily because he was afraid of being arrested or hurt.
In a motion filed Tuesday, attorneys for G4S Secure Solutions (USA) Inc. do not dispute al-Qadir's account of the April 11, 2011, events. Instead, they argue the suit should be dismissed because al-Qadir cannot prove his claim that the guards were acting on behalf of the government. Greg Grisham, an attorney for the company formerly known as Wackenhut, said he could not comment further on the suit.
Al-Qadir initially asked the federal court for an emergency order that would allow him to enter the Juvenile Justice Center, where he was fighting a child custody dispute. Two weeks later, the juvenile courthouse adopted a policy allowing religious headwear to be worn in the building once it had been inspected. (...)