ST. LOUIS (RNS) Taxi driver Nabeel Langrial was chatting with another cabbie last summer when an enforcement agent for the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission stopped to tell him his hat did not conform to the driver dress code.

Langrial, a 23-year-old Muslim, told the officer the reddish-brown cap — called a kufi — had religious meaning. Still, the agent wrote him a ticket for the dress code violation. The agent also wrote him up for not displaying a taxi license, for refusing to cooperate and for returning a cab to service without a reinspection.

“It was not constitutional at all,” said Langrial, a part-time driver for Harris Cab Co.

Even now, 10 months later, Langrial still views the incident as a violation of his religious freedom. Even though the kufi ticket ultimately was downgraded to a warning, he still served a one-day suspension earlier this year for not having his cab reinspected after an officer took it out of service that day.


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