In Defense Of The Constitution

News & Analysis

015/08  December 20, 2008

    CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper: Special "Rights" for Muslims?



     The Atlanta Journal Constitution & recently carried stories about a Muslim woman who had been refused entry to a courtroom due to her refusal to remove the scarf covering her head.


     From the articles, we learn that Valentine was stopped before going through the metal detector and informed by the bailiff that she would not be permitted into the courtroom unless she removed her head covering.

     After informing the bailiff that wearing the head covering was “her right”, Valentine (Miedah):


     Miedah says when she tried to leave, the bailiff's stopped her.  She admits she argued,
then pulled away when a bailiff grabbed her arm. She said she was handcuffed
and brought before Judge Keith Rollins.

     It didn’t help that Valentine used profane language during the confrontation.


     Valentine refuses to comply with the orders of a judge and pulls away from the bailiff after arguing, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) rushes in to defend what is apparently a case of very rude behavior in a courthouse over the insistence of a “right” not in existence in current law.


     Judge Rollins imposed a ten-day sentence for contempt which was later reduced to six hours. Attempts to gather more information from the Douglasville, Georgia Police Department were unsuccessful.


     CAIR Spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, had this to say:


“When somebody is denied access to our judicial system based on religiously mandated attire, then what
does that say?  No Muslim woman can have access to a courtroom in Douglasville, Georgia?…
“A judge does have the right to set decorum in a courtroom, but you can’t use those standards
to violate someone’s legal rights.”

     Hooper mentions “legal rights”, but just what does this mean?  A Muslim woman should be allowed to wear a headscarf in the courtroom, but a non-Muslim woman is banned from wearing a head covering?  If so, would Muslim women have to carry a special government ID to prove they are Muslim?

     What about the “rights” of non-Muslim women to wear a headscarf in a courtroom?  How would this square with the Constitution which is crystal clear on the point that all people are equal before the law?  Is there a “special” Constitution for Muslims, or not? 

     There are many religious beliefs that do not fit in with current courthouse security regulations; for instance, Sikh men carry small daggers as part of their religious beliefs; should they be permitted to carry these weapons into the courthouse?

     If not, why not?

     From what we know, Judge Rollins does not permit anyone, Muslim or not, to wear a head covering of any kind in his court.

     Therefore, no discrimination has taken place.

     Hooper has filed a complaint with the US Attorney Generals Office regarding this incident.

     Good for him.  This issue needs to be resolved once and for all.  Is the Judge in control of the courtroom, or CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood front group created for Hamas?


Andrew Whitehead

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