Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Michigan Judge's Hijab Ban Spurs Lawsuit

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says it is filing a federal lawsuit against a Wayne County, Michigan judge who demanded that that a Muslim woman remove her hijab in court. CAIR says the woman felt so intimidated by the judge’s repeated demand that she eventually removed her religious headscarf.

The suit follows a Michigan Supreme Court ruling backing another judge's similar order to a Muslim woman to remove her hijab so he could see her face to help determine her truthfulness while testifying in a small claims case. In that case, the woman refused and the judge tossed out her claim against a rental car company.

“The judge’s actions contradict both the constitutional right to freedom of religion and President Obama's recent statement in support of the right to wear hijab,” said CAIR attorney Melanie Elturk. “This judge targeted a Muslim woman’s religious attire, but he could just as easily have demanded the removal of a Sikh turban, Jewish yarmulke or a Catholic nun’s habit.”

In President Obama’s June address to Muslims worldwide, he said that freedom in America is, "indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion.

"That is why," he said "the U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it."


Lonesome Dove said...

Someone should inform CAIR attorney, Melanie Elturk, that one right does not strike down another and that "President" Obama's comments no matter how gloriously uplifting they might be to some, are NOT the law of the land. Further, if a Sikh, a Jew or a nun walked into a court of law with a turban, yarmulke or habit covering their faces, it's a pretty good guess that they would be instructed to remove them. Wearing a hijab while squeezing the Charmin in the Piggly-Wiggly and hiding one's face from a judge in his courtroom is an apples vs. oranges argument.

Allen said...

The same Islamic law dictates to the western women when they go to Islamic country they have to cover those head and have hejab as we see the women reporter go to report
Moslem women nee to take them hejab off when they go to see the judge in our curt rooms and CAIR organization need to respect out lows then pushing for Islamic laws in none Moslem land

Anonymous said...

"Excuse me?" The woman uttered to the judge. She should feel grateful he didn't hold her in contempt. "It's not a hat it's a head scarf". A split hair.

The judge went on:
"Okay. The head piece? No hats allowed in the court room."

According to CAIR-MI, Albaghdady felt "so intimidated by the judge's repeated demand that she eventually removed her headscarf."

But an assistant for Judge Callahan told the Detroit News that immediately after the portion posted on YouTube, Albaghdady said "It doesn't matter" and removed the scarf without indicating it had religious significance.

Just yesterday, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an order allowing judges in lower state courts to exercise more control over the appearance of witnesses and parties in response to a controversial 2006 case in which a Hamtramck judge ordered a woman to remove her facial veil, or niqab, in court.

The new rule, which takes effect Sept. 1, reads:

"The court shall exercise reasonable control over the appearance of parties and witnesses so as to (1) ensure that the demeanor of such persons may be observed and assessed by the fact-finder, and (2) to ensure the accurate identification of such persons."

Jilbabs, Hijabs, Niqabs... are we to expect court justices to know and be sensitive to the nuiances of one particular group? This is simply silly. Take the hijab off and ask Allah to understand. If your god doesn't get it, maybe a change of faith is in order.

-LD McLellan


3aroos alba7er said...

It's a basic school rule, even in school, no "hats or headgear" are allowed, EXCEPT FOR RELIGIOUS OR MEDICAL PURPOSES.