Ga. judge jails Muslim woman over head scarf

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by PoliticalChic, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    By DIONNE WALKER
    Associated Press Writer

    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.

    Kelley Jackson, a spokeswoman for Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, said state law doesn't permit or prohibit head scarfs.

    "It's at the discretion of the judge and the sheriffs and is up to the security officers in the court house to enforce their decision," she said.

    Valentine, who recently moved to Georgia from New Haven, Conn., said the incident reminded her of stories she'd heard of the civil rights-era South.

    "I just felt stripped of my civil, my human rights," she said Wednesday from her home. She said she was unexpectedly released after the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations urged federal authorities to investigate the incident as well as others in Georgia.

    The group cited a report that the same judge removed a woman and her 14-year-old daughter from the courtroom last week because they were wearing Muslim head scarves.

    Jail officials declined to say why she was freed and municipal Court Judge Keith Rollins said that "it would not be appropriate" for him to comment on the case.

    Last year, a judge in Valdosta in southern Georgia barred a Muslim woman from entering a courtroom because she would not remove her head scarf. There have been similar cases in other states, including Michigan, where a Muslim woman in Detroit filed a federal lawsuit in February 2007 after a judge dismissed her small-claims court case when she refused to remove a head and face veil.

    Valentine's husband, Omar Hall, said his wife was accompanying her nephew to a traffic citation hearing when officials stopped her at the metal detector and told her she would not be allowed in the courtroom with the head scarf, known as a hijab.

    Hall said Valentine, an insurance underwriter, told the bailiff that she had been in courtrooms before with the scarf on and that removing it would be a religious violation. When she turned to leave and uttered an expletive, Hall said a bailiff handcuffed her and took her before the judge.

    Associated Press writer Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed to this report.
    Ga. judge jails Muslim woman over head scarf - Kansas City Star
     
  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Okay, that's just so wrong there's really not much to say about it.

    Although I don't doubt we'll find something.
     
  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    I was incredulous too when I read this story. I bet she'll sue and will win.
     
  4. random3434
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    random3434 Senior Member

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    This is nuts, and the fact that it's happened again and again is even more nuts!


    WTH?
     
  5. Againsheila
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    Againsheila Gold Member

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    Don't you just love our press? She wasn't jailed for wearing the headscarf, she was jailed for the expletive she uttered when they wouldn't allow her in th courtroom wearing her headscarf.
     
  6. Againsheila
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    Againsheila Gold Member

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    Just a question, why?

    Do you think that everybody should be allowed to enter the court room wearing masks, which is what those headscarfs amount to?

    Now, if she had to be in the courtroom and it was her religion not to show her face, they could have made arrangments ahead of time, but in this case, she was accompanying somebody else and expecting the rules to be broken for her and her alone.
     
  7. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    If you go to the site her picture is there.

    She was not wearing a veil over her face.

    All she was doing was wearing a scarf over her hair.
     
  8. Againsheila
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    Againsheila Gold Member

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    I didn't go to the site, I have the slowest computer in the world right now. I'll accept your word for it and retract what I said about it amounting to a mask. She should have been allowed to wear the scarf. However, I still say she wasn't arrested because of the scarf, she was arrested because of the expletive and if her religion is so important to her, what's she doing uttering an expletive anyway?
     
  9. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    She's apparently also not the first person to go to jail for refusing not to wear a scarf according to something I heard on TV.

    Would he have insisted that someone wearing a Yamaka go to jail?

    Perhaps.

    Sorry, that's just totally wrong.
     
  10. Sunni Man
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    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    I wonder what they would do if a Catholic Nun had to go into the court?
     

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