Raja Naeem: Muslim Driver Says Taxi Officials Still Harassing Him Over Religious Garb

Categories: News, Politics

Then on April 1, Ronnie White, an appellate hearing officer with the MTC, issued a decision regarding one of Naeem's summons, saying that the alleged "uniform violations must be reversed," because there was not a fair process in place for him to make his request:

Taxicab drivers such as Naeem should have been granted the opportunity to request reasonable accommodation from the uniform requirements through certification of religious purpose.... In this case, the record shows that Naeem claimed a religious exemption from the outset; yet he was unable to file for a certification since the MTC did not have a means for him to do so.

Despite both of these decsions, Naeem says the harassment has continued; he even says he was stopped and ticketed this week.

raja naeem presser.jpg
via
Naeem and his attorneys speaking to the press.

Klein argues that White's decision was narrow and that the MTC has in fact given Naeem a clear "variance" to uniform code that officials think is a reasonable compromise -- but one that Naeem is still violating. For instance, despite his letter specifying the need for a white shirt, Naeem recently showed up in a tan one, Klein says.

"We've granted him an exemption...but it has to be white and black," Klein says, adding, "We do that so taxi drivers are regularly recognized."

He continues, "I fully support him in his religious beliefs... This is a compromise.... All we are trying to do is give him what he asked for."

To Baebler, though, it's clear that the MTC is retaliating against Naeem for making a fuss.

"This is belittling to him," he says. "And the Missouri constitution says...you have a right to practice your faith."

Here's the full letter from Klein in response to Naeem's request.

Ronald Klein to Raja Naeem

Here's Ronnie White's decision.

Ronnie White

And here's the formal complaint.

Complaint

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.


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15 comments
Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

why do companies still hire these "people"? it's just a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Kriston Mahr
Kriston Mahr

If you r not sending money over seas to fund terrorist training, your fine Pretty simple.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman

If you can't wear a NRA shirt at school because its called disruptive, he should not be allowed to wear a towel on his head because it is disruptive. It goes both ways. Quit yer bitching about religious freedom. You are at work not a mosque.

Matt Irwin
Matt Irwin

oh for hells sake st louis, wake up & join in on what means to be an American: RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE, morons!!

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

next pork will be outlawed and cows will have holy asylum

Cheri Jean Sweaney
Cheri Jean Sweaney

Boss gives employee a hard time about repeatedly not wearing the required work uniform? Man, that's just crazy!

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

ACLU has already fought cases like this for Christians who want to wear crosses, it's an obvious violation of the discrimination act. They did not contact the pope or a pastor to verify that a cross is appropriate. They should not have contacted his Imam.

KITTY
KITTY

If this fucking piece of camel shit doesn't want to conform and wear a uniform instead of wearing Desert Drag, then deport his fat ass back to Africa. Deport all such foreigners who don't become Americanized, wear western clothes or refuse to speak English. These pieces of shit desperately want to come to America, but as soon as they get here they refuse to conform and assimilate into our society. As I have said many times since 9-11, if its got a beard and turban, kill it! Send them on the express route to those 72 virgins waiting for them in paradise!

ceebear
ceebear

@ Kitty... You're a stupid idiot.

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