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Thread: Ga. Judge Jails Muslim Woman Over Head Scarf

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    Ga. Judge Jails Muslim Woman Over Head Scarf

    Source: New York Times
    Date: Dec 17, 2008

    ATLANTA (AP) -- A Muslim woman arrested for refusing to take off her head scarf at a courthouse security checkpoint said Wednesday that she felt her human and civil rights were violated. A judge ordered Lisa Valentine, 40, to serve 10 days in jail for contempt of court, said police in Douglasville, a city of about 20,000 people on Atlanta's west suburban outskirts.

    Valentine violated a court policy that prohibits people from wearing any headgear in court, police said after they arrested her Tuesday.
    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2008...rest.html?_r=2

    In America it is disrespectful to wear a hat or head covering in a courtroom.

    The real question posed by this story is whether American law or Islamic law must give way when the two conflict.

    You know what they say " when in Rome do as the Romans do" if its against your religion then stay the hell out of Rome.
    Last edited by SgtRock; 12-17-08 at 11:51 PM.
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    Re: Ga. Judge Jails Muslim Woman Over Head Scarf

    It doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me for someone to have a scarf on their head in court. It's clearly important to her. I'm not sure why such a ridiculous fuss has to be made over a scarf.

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    Re: Ga. Judge Jails Muslim Woman Over Head Scarf

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtRock View Post
    In America it is disrespectful to wear a hat or head covering in a courtroom.

    The real question posed by this story is whether American law or Islamic law must give way when the two conflict.

    You know what they say " when in Rome do as the Romans do" if its against your religion then stay the hell out of Rome.
    It isn't Islamic law - it's American law, as in the free exercise of religion. Security, however, is very important as well, and modesty (the driving principle behind Islamic hijab) is no excuse to bypass security. If necessary, she can be searched in private, as with airport security. If she feels that her religious expression is important enough to go to jail for, she has every right to go to jail for ignoring American laws in favor of fervor

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    Re: Ga. Judge Jails Muslim Woman Over Head Scarf

    Quote Originally Posted by SWM View Post
    It doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me for someone to have a scarf on their head in court. It's clearly important to her. I'm not sure why such a ridiculous fuss has to be made over a scarf.
    Because this is America not Saudi Arabia. We remove our head gear before entering a courtroom. Its a matter of respect. Respect for the judge and respect for our traditions.
    When America is strong the world is calm, When America is weak tyrants and terrorist slaughter the meek. ~ SgtRock

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    Re: Ga. Judge Jails Muslim Woman Over Head Scarf

    Well people have smuggled things into courtrooms before in much less than a head scarf.

    I agree with the original poster. When secular US law collides with religious law, religious law must give way.

    Mark my words. This will have long term ramifications.

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    Re: Ga. Judge Jails Muslim Woman Over Head Scarf

    Quote Originally Posted by SWM View Post
    It doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me for someone to have a scarf on their head in court. It's clearly important to her. I'm not sure why such a ridiculous fuss has to be made over a scarf.
    The courthouse has regulations prohibiting the wearing of headgear. If she feels that this is unnecessary or unjust in some way she has every right to attempt to get the policy changed. She does not have the right to ignore the regulation for personal reasons, whatever they be

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    Re: Ga. Judge Jails Muslim Woman Over Head Scarf

    And married Orthodox Jewish women who follow Halakha, and wear wigs?
    Are they forced to remove them upon entering the courtroom?
    Should they just "stay the hell out of Rome" too, since their religion mandates that they never appear in public after their wedding day without a head covering?

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    Re: Ga. Judge Jails Muslim Woman Over Head Scarf

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtRock View Post
    Because this is America not Saudi Arabia. We remove our head gear before entering a courtroom. Its a matter of respect. Respect for the judge and respect for our traditions.
    I think the freedom to exercise religion overrides a silly and generally unspoken rule of respect. I wasn't even aware of the no hat/head covering rule.

    To me this just sounds like a guy on a power trip wanting to be a jerk. I'm sure that Muslim women in the past have been able to wear a hijab in court with no problem.
    Last edited by Dr_Patrick; 12-18-08 at 12:05 AM.

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    Re: Ga. Judge Jails Muslim Woman Over Head Scarf

    I'm surprised by the jail term, frankly. A $50 fine and being escorted out of the courthouse would have done nicely. But again, if laws do not apply equally, then they become discriminatory. Either everyone can wear a head covering in court... or nobody can.

    I'm also reminded about the Muslim woman who sued some state... Florida, I think... because they wouldn't take her drivers license photo while she wore a burka that covered her entire face! The court upheld the state. She didn't get her license.
    Last edited by DiAnna; 12-18-08 at 12:06 AM.

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    Re: Ga. Judge Jails Muslim Woman Over Head Scarf

    Quote Originally Posted by 1069 View Post
    And married Orthodox Jewish women who follow Halakha, and wear wigs?
    Are they forced to remove them upon entering the courtroom?
    Should they just "stay the hell out of Rome" too, since their religion mandates that they never appear in public after their wedding day without a head covering?
    A wig is not considered an article of clothing.
    Apples and oranges.

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