An Iraqi woman residing in Dearborn, Michigan is suing a judge who asked her to remove her headscarf whilst she was in court to change her name.
It is customary to uncover one's head as a mark of respect in most Western courtrooms, I believe, but this does not matter:
As the woman continues to bleat about her supposedly terrible plight in a YouTube video, Judge Callahan has rubbished her claims, stating that the video conveniently misses the part where she replied "OK, it doesn't matter," to his request to remove her scarf, before complying:
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) - A Muslim woman says she felt humiliated after a Michigan judge ordered her to remove her headscarf when she appeared in his courtroom.
Raneen Albaghdady (al-BAHG'-dah-dee) and the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed suit Wednesday against Wayne County and Circuit Judge William Callahan, alleging he violated her First Amendment and other rights.
The 32-year-old Dearborn Heights woman says she was "terrified and scared" of Callahan at the June 16 hearing, and so removed her hijab when told to.
Callahan says Albaghdady didn't say her headpiece had religious significance. He says in a statement that had she said so, he wouldn't have told her to remove it.
The suit asks a federal judge to order Wayne County judges to allow the hijab in court.
This would be a bit like the vital seconds of footage missed of the Rodney King video, I presume - the ones that change the entire nature of the incident.In filing a federal lawsuit Wednesday, a Dearborn Heights woman said she hopes to help preserve the rights of other Muslim women.
The lawsuit alleges that a Wayne County judge forced her to remove her hijab, an Islamic head scarf, during a court appearance this summer to change her name.
Raneen Albaghdady, 32, a native of Iraq, said Judge Bill Callahan, a Wayne County Circuit judge in the family domestic division, told her to remove her head covering in keeping with court rules.
"I never thought this would happen here in America," Albaghdady, a designer, said at a news conference Wednesday in Southfield at the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Wednesday's lawsuit comes after the Michigan Supreme Court adopted a court rule on Tuesday that gives judges "reasonable control over parties' and witnesses' appearance." That decision stems from a case involving a Hamtramck woman who went to court wearing a niqab, an Islamic veil that covers the entire face, except for the eyes.
This week, CAIR released a video clip of Albaghdady's court appearance on YouTube.
An assistant to Callahan said the video doesn't include the part where Albaghdady removed the head scarf and said, "It's OK; it doesn't matter."