Is this religious sensitivity, or political correctness run amok?
Illinois is looking to do away with laws preventing garments or accessories that can conceal parts of the face in federal identification, such as drivers licenses. While most religions don’t command their followers to wear garb that obstructs view of the face, the big concern is the burqa which covers all but the eyes of the wearer.
IL DMV Deputy Press Secretary had this to say about the issue as quoted by the Conservative Tribune:
“What we’re doing was always allowed… but what we want to ensure is that the public’s aware of them because we were told that some individuals were unaware that they could have their photo taken for the drivers [sic] license wearing them [religious head coverings],” Haupt said.
This decision could greatly hinder our law enforcement in identifying the person or persons they are dealing with. This puts everyone at risk and can prevent the identification and capture of criminals. How are they supposed to know if the person in front of them is the person on the license picture?
May 2010 was host to a car-jacking in which the perpetrator was wearing a burqa and sunglasses, making him impossible to identify.
August 2010 saw a man in this traditional Muslim garb rob a bank in Montgomery County, MD.
In August 2013, burqa-wearing robbers assaulted and attempted to rob a jewelry shop in the Thames Valley area.
These are not the only examples of crimes committed by those attempting to hide their identities utilized the head covering, as independent research can confirm.
It is dangerous to conceal identifying features on your federal identification card, and should continue to be prohibited by law. We should not allow this to continue, putting all of us at risk.