Taxi Commission Suspends License of Muslim Driver Raja Naeem: Religious Discrimination?

See also: Gateway Metro Credit Union Rejects Muslim Woman Adiaratou Sall Due To Her Headscarf

In a separate filing, Baebler calls for a judicial review of the MTC's actions. The petitions reference tickets Naeem has also received for using Square credit card readers (outlined in detail here in our previous story), noting that between April and September, Naeem has received ten different tickets. The filing comes with a September 4 official suspension notice, which goes into effect September 14 (with administrative penalties totaling $600).

Courtesy of Raja Naeem
Raja Naeem with his wife and four children.

He has a right to appeal -- and already has pending appeals -- and he and his attorneys say they are still deciding whether he can actually continue to work next week.

Klein says Naeem has racked up the required number of violations and thus must face consequences spelled out in code: "That brings him to a level where his license has to be suspended."

Klein says that when a driver appeals, the suspension does not go into effect until the individual has an opportunity for a hearing.

"He is allowed all of this due process," he says. "We go down the line and follow all of our procedures."

Klein, who notes that the MTC has not yet been served these latest petitions, says the commission issued Naeem a variance that allows him to wear his kurta, with the caveat being that it must be white and black.

raja naeem presser.jpg
via KSDK (Channel 5)
Naeem and his attorneys speaking to the press.

"He requested a variance. We didn't have to agree to it, but we did," he says. "He still does not want to comply with the rules."

Naeem argues that he has a right to wear his religious garb and that the MTC cannot legally limit him in this manner.

Chuck Cole, a longtime local cab driver and transportation consultant in this legal fight, adds: "He takes his faith very seriously. This doesn't allow him to practice his religion freely."

Here are copies of the two petitions.

Motion for an Injunction

Petition for Review

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

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