A burqa-clad Muslim just learned the hard way that Shariah law is not acceptable in Western courtrooms.
Rania El-Alloul was in a Canadian court recently trying to recover a car seized by police when her 21-year-old son was caught behind the wheel without a valid license. According to American News, Judge Eliana Marengo asked her to remove her headscarf before the hearing began, but she refused.
She quickly learned she’d made a huge mistake.
“The courtroom is a secular place and you are not suitably dressed,” the judge insisted. “Hats and sunglasses, for example, are not allowed and I don’t see why scarves on the head would be either.”
“The same rules need to be applied to everyone,” she continued. “I will therefore not hear you if you are wearing a scarf on your head, just as I would not allow a person to appear before me wearing a hat or sunglasses on his or her head, or any other garment not suitable for a court proceeding.”
When El-Alloul continued to refuse to comply with the judge’s demands, the hearing was adjourned.
“When she insisted I should remove my hijab, really I felt like she was talking with me as a human being,” the Muslim later said. “I don’t want this thing to happen to any other lady. This is not the work of a judge. She doesn’t deserve to be a judge. When I’m sitting alone, I will cry, because always I’m remembering the judge, how she was talking to me. This scene is not going from my mind.”
The Quebec justice department responded by saying there is no specific ban on wearing religious items in court, but regulations insist on decorum and being suitably dressed. Legal experts say that the judge had every right to enforce her rules in her courtroom.
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