Magazine article The Christian Century

A Muslim Police Officer Sues the NYPD, Citing Religious Harassment

Magazine article The Christian Century

A Muslim Police Officer Sues the NYPD, Citing Religious Harassment

Article excerpt

A MUSLIM NYPD officer has filed a lawsuit against New York City and its police department, alleging that the department turned a blind eye to years of religion-based harassment from her colleagues.

Danielle Alamrani of Brooklyn joined the New York Police Department in 2006 and converted to Islam one year later. The reported bullying began in 2008, when she started wearing a hijab to work. In the years since, her lawsuit claims, Alamrani has been subjected to physical and verbal attacks from her fellow officers, including one incident where two colleagues allegedly attempted to rip the hijab off her head.

"You do expect police officers to have thicker skin and be able to deal with other people," Alamrani's attorney, Jesse Rose, told the Washington Post. "But you don't expect them to have do that with their own colleagues."

The lawsuit comes just months after the NYPD expanded its policy on religious accommodations, granting Sikh and Muslim officers permission to grow out their beards and wear a turban in place of the traditional police cap. The move was applauded by many as a step toward greater inclusiveness in law enforcement.

But it also comes at a time when many U.S. Muslims report feeling unsafe, following a 67 percent increase in hate crimes against Muslims in 2015 and a reported surge in anti-Muslim crimes and rhetoric linked to the 2016 presidential election.

Alamrani is not the first NYPD officer to report anti-Muslim harassment. In December, a female officer named Ami Elsokary was threatened and referred to as "ISIS" while she was off duty and wearing her hijab. …

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