For Immediate Release
CAIR: Michigan Muslim to File Suit Over Judge’s Hijab Ban
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - On August 26, the Michigan chapter of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) will hold a news conference in
Southfield to announce the filing of a federal lawsuit against a Wayne
County judge who demanded that a Muslim woman remove her religious
headscarf (hijab) in court. The Muslim plaintiff felt so intimidated by
the judge's repeated demand that she eventually removed her headscarf.
WHAT: CAIR-MI Announces Lawsuit Over Judge's Demand to Remove Hijab
WHEN: Wednesday, August 26, 2 p.m.
WHERE: CAIR-MI Office, 21700 Northwestern Highway, Suite 1199, Southfield, MI
CONTACT: CAIR-MI Attorney Melanie Elturk, 248-559-2247, 248-872-2168, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, Tel: 248-842-1418, E-Mail: email@example.com
View video of the incident.
CAIR-MI is a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit being filed on behalf of the Michigan woman, who is a member of CAIR.
"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-MI 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 stated: "[F]reedom in America is
indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion...That is why 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."
The judge's demand came one month after the Michigan Supreme Court
voted to give judges full discretion over courtroom attire. At that
time, CAIR called for clarification of the new administrative rule and
said that, if broadly interpreted, it might allow judges to demand that
witnesses remove religious head coverings during testimony.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.