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muslim woman jailed for wearing headscarf in court

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Filed: Timeline

ATLANTA — 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.

Valentine, who recently moved to Georgia from Connecticut, 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.

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.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,468785,00.html


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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Isle of Man
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The craziest court I have ever been to was the 36th district court in downtown Detroit. A guy who was of Spanish decent, who couldn't speak English and had a translator, went in front of a judge with a giant chain down to his stomach with a marijuana leaf medallion that was the size of a starfish. I couldn't believe it.

Edited by Confucian

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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i'm sure the aclu is already on the case.


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Filed: Timeline
When she turned to leave and uttered an expletive, Hall said a bailiff handcuffed her and took her before the judge.

Well...wait a minute. This is really bad journalism, or at least very misleading (oh hey, it's FOX, surprise!!), because if you read it carefully I get the impression that she was held in contempt because she uttered an expletive. Which...yeah...deserves a contempt of court citation. The argument may have been about her head scarf, but the story seems to at least hint that the citation was for her expletive and possibly storming out.

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: Egypt
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The craziest court I have ever been to was the 36th district court in downtown Detroit. A guy who was of Spanish decent, who couldn't speak English and had a translator, went in front of a judge with a giant chain down to his stomach with a marijuana leaf medallion that was the size of a starfish. I couldn't believe it.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Jordan
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When she turned to leave and uttered an expletive, Hall said a bailiff handcuffed her and took her before the judge.

Well...wait a minute. This is really bad journalism, or at least very misleading (oh hey, it's FOX, surprise!!), because if you read it carefully I get the impression that she was held in contempt because she uttered an expletive. Which...yeah...deserves a contempt of court citation. The argument may have been about her head scarf, but the story seems to at least hint that the citation was for her expletive and possibly storming out.

the other thread posted earlier mentioned nothing about the expletive either. duh..that doesnt make a good story

It is misleading, however I dont think they should have ever asked her to remove it in the first place... hello? who doesnt know that a hijab(headscarf) is for religous reasons?

there is no excuse for such ignorance... f*'ing hicks


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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Pakistan
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MENA sisters have good posts, views and discussion on this. Why should judges be free to discriminate lands norms, laws and practices. My son was thrown out for having a t shirt with adam sandler on and such. But a Hijab ofensive??why? because the judge is obviously racist and demeaning


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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Egypt
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why? because the judge is obviously racist and demeaning

That's some serious conjecture. Another (simpler and less sinister) explanation is that he's just ignorant.

hard to believe that a judge would be THAT ignorant. As for the expletive I'd have done my best to bite my lip if I were her but after the fourth or fifth time of being told I couldn't help my nephew because I was wearing hijab I probably would have gone off at the mouth as well. The court system has no right to tell me to what extent I can practice my religion. The thread in MENA has some very good points, one being what if it had been a nun in full habit? Would they have made her take off her headcovering as well?


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Filed: Timeline
hard to believe that a judge would be THAT ignorant.

I think you'd be surprised. There are some damn ignorant people out there, many of whom run our country and judicial system.

As for the expletive I'd have done my best to bite my lip if I were her but after the fourth or fifth time of being told I couldn't help my nephew because I was wearing hijab I probably would have gone off at the mouth as well.

Understandable, but understand also that once you start going off at the mouth, it's a completely different ballgame now. When you disrupt the court, you can expect to be held in contempt. Even if you are 100% in the moral right.

The court system has no right to tell me to what extent I can practice my religion.

As I am reading it, the court system is not telling her to what extent she can practice her religion. The judge told her she couldn't wear her habit. Now, this *MAY* infringe on her religious freedoms, but that is a separate incident from why she was held in contempt.

The thread in MENA has some very good points, one being what if it had been a nun in full habit? Would they have made her take off her headcovering as well?

If it were a nun wearing a habit, I would have expected the same outcome. Which is not to say it would have been any righter or any wronger, only that the Judge seemed pretty fixated on the rule of "no headgear."

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Morocco
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When she turned to leave and uttered an expletive, Hall said a bailiff handcuffed her and took her before the judge.

Well...wait a minute. This is really bad journalism, or at least very misleading (oh hey, it's FOX, surprise!!), because if you read it carefully I get the impression that she was held in contempt because she uttered an expletive. Which...yeah...deserves a contempt of court citation. The argument may have been about her head scarf, but the story seems to at least hint that the citation was for her expletive and possibly storming out.

Stop using Common Sense. There are lots of muslims here that want to be outraged!


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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Pakistan
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Bottom Line he was wrong on isisting it be removed!! Because its a strong SYmbol that was given a strong message. Devoid of how the sister acted. Judges are held o higher societal standards. If not they need tossed of thier benches!!


august 2004 I-129 filed (neb)

DEC 2004 Approved

interview: SEOUL

MArch 21st , 2005AR for special security clearance,washington

May 18th tranfer case from Seoul to Islammabad

June 21st security clearance done

June 28th online at the embassy in Islamabad

waiting for paper transfer and the good word

OCTOBER 14TH 2005 Interview Number 2: ISLAMABAD, PK

AR number 2 sent to DOS per Islamabad (2 cable request)

Nov 22 okd updated financial and etc proof accepted / embassy waiting for security cables

dec 20th one cable back waiting on 2nd

Jan 17th.. good word recieved. SECURITY CHECKS ALL CLEAR!!! DOS says embassy to contact him within two weeks!!!!!!

FEBRUARY 10th, 2006 VISA RECIEVED!!! They called him In via phone, stamped his passort and sent him on his way!!!

FEB 28th WELCOME HOME>>>POE CHICAGO did not even look at xray, few questions. one hour wait at Poe

march 10th marriage (nikkah at the islamic center)

aug 2006 AOS interview, cond 2 yr GC arrived september

June 2008 applied for removal of conditions on permant residency aka awaiting for 10 yr greencard

Dec 2008 10yr green card approved, no interview.

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Filed: Timeline
Bottom Line he was wrong on isisting it be removed!! Because its a strong SYmbol that was given a strong message. Devoid of how the sister acted. Judges are held o higher societal standards. If not they need tossed of thier benches!!

The "bottom line" is that the woman was NOT jailed because of her head scarf or practicing her religion. She was jailed for disrupting the court. There are many ways she could have handled the situation. She chosethe way that gets you thrown in jail on a contempt charge.

In the strictest sense of the word, the judge did not overstep his bounds. If the law is discriminatory, then the law needs to be addressed. But it does seem that the judge did act within the letter of the law.

This is unfortunately yet another example of sensationalist journalism. If you are outraged, I hope you're outraged either because of a law that doesn't make exceptions for religious freedoms, and/or because FOX News has shown yet again that it can't be trusted as a reliable news source. If you are outraged because of a perceived slight against your religion, then the "journalist" did his job of making you a tool.

Edited by mox

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
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there is no excuse for such ignorance... f*'ing hicks

because the judge is obviously racist and demeaning

Or it could be a religiously neutral policy banning hearcoverings in the courthouse.

The paper says Lisa Valentine, 40, was arrested on charges of violating a policy that bars headcoverings inside the Douglasville, Ga., courthouse.

http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2008/...e-orders-mu.htm

Why can't a 40 year-old woman Muslim or not, act a bit older than a 4 year-old? Pretty obvious a lot of posters haven't been to the greater Atlanta area to see the diversity or a courtroom to know the rules. Um, about 40% of Douglasville residents are black so I don't think the racism charge will stick there.


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