Legal news for Michigan general litigation attorneys. Muslim woman sues Michigan judge and Wayne County for insisting she removed her hijab.
Michigan lawyers alert- Muslim woman sues Michigan Judge after being asked to remove hijab.
Detroit, MI—a Muslim woman and the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) http://www.cair.com/ filed a lawsuit against the 3rd Circuit Court of Michigan Judge, William Callahan, and Wayne County on Wednesday, August 26, 2009. The lawsuit alleges the judge ordered the Muslim woman, who is a naturalized citizen, to remove her hijab, or religious head covering during a court hearing on June 16, as reported by CNN.
The plaintiff Raneen Albaghdady, an Iraq native, claims while petitioning for a name change in June, Callahan asked Albaghdady to take off her hijab during the court proceedings. The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court of Michigan, alleges Callahan denied her request for a name change, and citied technical reasons for the ruling. The Michigan CAIR released a 30-second video on YouTube http://www.youtube.com of the June court proceedings where you can hear the judge saying, “The head piece? No hats allowed in the courtroom.” Judge Callahan and the 3rd Circuit Court released a statement, which said the YouTube video is “missing critical footage”, like Albaghdady’s reply to the judge’s instructions in which she said, “Okay, it doesn’t matter, and removed her hijab without protest or explanation of its religious significance.” Albaghdady further alleges she feared she would be arrested if she didn’t follow the judge’s orders, because in her country you don’t say “no” to a judge in a courtroom.
In the written statement release by Callahan and the 3rd Circuit Court, they also stated, “Judge Callahan and the court have the greatest respect for spiritual practices and all religious preferences. Had he been informed that the head covering had some religious significance, the judge would have permitted Ms. Albaghdady to continue wearing in court.” The lawsuit is asking the practice of “forcing Muslim women to remove their hijab as a precondition to appearing in court” to be deemed unconstitutional and illegal. In addition, the lawsuit asks the judge and Wayne County required to not implement “similar unconstitutional actions.”
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for general litigation lawyers located in Michigan.