Following Donald Trump winning the 2016, the state of Georgia is planning to pass a law that will ban Muslim women from wearing hijabs and niqabs in public. The ban will fall under the anti-masking law designed in 1951, which was utilized to prevent Ku Klux Klan members from committing anonymous crimes while wearing hoods.
The new component to include niqab and hijab headwear is being proposed by Republican Rep. Jason Spencer, titled House Bill 3. Wearing any type of hood or veil similar to the Muslim cultured headdress in public will be considered a misdemeanor, according to a report by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The new law would also ban Muslim women from wearing their veils in official government ID photos.
The current law in Georgia can be read below:
A person is guilty of a misdemeanor when he wears a mask, hood, or device by which any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed or covered as the conceal the identity of the wearer and is upon any public way or public property or upon the private property of another without the written permission of the owner or occupier of the property to do so.
Spencer would like to further add “or she” into the official description of the law. The following line would also be inserted into the law: “For the purposes of this subsection, the phrase ‘upon any public way or property’ includes but is not limited to operating a motor vehicle upon any public street, road, or highway.”
Regardless, many Muslims in Georgia are outraged by this new proposal. “The bill is a bad solution to a nonexistent problem,” Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Georgia, told media outlets. “These Muslim women are not endangering themselves or anyone else. We have a new president, but not a new Constitution. The bill is unnecessary and unconstitutional, and we intend to oppose it if it goes forward.”
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