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CAIR ACTION ALERT #555:
Support Georgia Muslims Barred from Court Over Hijab
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/19/08) CAIR is calling on American Muslims and others who value civil and religious rights to send postcards and letters of support to the Muslim women in Georgia who were either jailed or barred from a courtroom in that state because they wished to wear hijab in court.
On Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported: “Lisa Valentine, also known by her Islamic name, Miedah, 40, was arrested at the Douglasville Municipal Court for violating a court policy of no headgear, said Chris Womack, deputy chief of operations for the Douglasville police…Sabreen Abdul Rahman, 55, said she was asked to take off her scarf when she went to the municipal court last week with her son…Halimah Abdullah, 43, said she spent 24 hours in jail in November 2007 after Rollins held her in contempt of court for refusing to remove her head covering.”
SEE: Muslim’s Scarf Leads to Arrest at Courthouse (Atlanta Journal)
Associated Press reported: “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.”
SEE: Ga. Judge Jails Muslim Woman Over Head Scarf
“CAIR took up this case to ensure that the constitutional right to freedom of religion is protected for Americans of all faiths,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. “It is important to show support for and solidarity with these women.”
Awad said a CAIR representative spoke today at a rally outside the courthouse in Douglasville, Ga., to protest the judge’s actions.
SEE: Woman Jailed for Wearing Head Scarf Gains Support (Atlanta Journal)
In a letter sent Thursday to Georgia Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker, CAIR National Legal Counsel Nadhira F. Al-Khalili called for legal sanctions against the judge.
SEE: CAIR Seeks Sanctions Against Anti-Hijab Judge in Georgia
A copy of the letter was sent to the Judicial District Professionalism Program of the State Bar of Georgia. CAIR also contacted the U.S. Department of Justice, which now says it is looking into the case.
Send postcards and letters of support for the Muslim women to:
Lisa “Miedah” Valentine, Sabreen Abdul Rahman, Halimah Abdullah C/O Council on American-Islamic Relations453 New Jersey Avenue S.E.Washington, D.C. 20003
The letters will be collected and forwarded to the women at their home addresses.