A North Carolina man has pled guilty to ripping off a Muslim woman’s hijab.  Gill Parker Payne has been charged with religious obstruction and faces up to one year in prison, and a possible fine of $100,000, according to a Department of Justice court filing.

Gill Parker Payne and the Muslim woman, identified only as “K.A.” were on a flight from Chicago to Albuquerque when the incident took place. Payne was sitting a few rows behind her.

“Shortly before landing, but while still-in flight, I stood up in the aisle and walked toward where K.A. was sitting in the aisle,” his plea document reads. He admitted to telling her to take off her hijab, “stating something to the effect of, ‘Take it off! This is America!’”

Payne and federal prosecutors are recommending two months of house arrest as punishment enough. His sentencing hearing is still pending, though, and the plea agreement must be approved by a judge.


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