Muslims and Others Challenge a Ban of Masks

January 24, 2001

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On January 24, 2001, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Muslims and others "filed a federal lawsuit, seeking class action status," against a Chicago ordinance that bans people from wearing masks in public. The plaintiffs complained that the 1922 ordinance "violates their freedom of speech and religion...Officials speculated the ordinance may have been aimed at keeping the Ku Klux Klan out of the city during the group's heyday...But activists who regularly attend protests wearing bandanas, Palestinians wearing the kaffiyah, a type of scarf, or Muslim women who don the niqaab, a type of veil, argue the ordinance is too broad and could hurt them and others...In light of the lawsuit, the city's law department will review whether the ordinance still needs to be on the books."