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Old 10-23-2006, 08:15 AM   #16
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(AP)A judge dismissed a small-claims court case filed by a Muslim woman after she refused to remove her veil when she testified.

Ginnnah Muhammad, 42, wore a niqab — a scarf and veil that cover her head and face, leaving only the eyes visible — during a court hearing this month in Hamtramck, a city surrounded by Detroit. She was contesting a $2,750 charge from a rental-car company.

District Judge Paul Paruk told her he needed to see her face to judge her truthfulness and gave her a choice: take off the veil while testifying or have the case dismissed. She kept it on.

"I just feel so sad," Muhammad told the Detroit Free Press for Sunday's edition. "... I didn't feel like the court recognized me as a person that needed justice. I just feel I can't trust the court."

Paruk said he told Muhammad to remove her veil Oct. 11 because it is his job to determine whether witnesses are telling the truth. "Part of that, you need to identify the witness and you need to look at the witness and watch how they testify," he said.

Michigan law lacks rules governing how judges handle religious attire of people in court, so judges have leeway on how to run their courtrooms.

Metropolitan Detroit has one of the country's largest Muslim populations, and Hamtramck has a particularly large concentration, but Paruk said it was the first time someone had come before him wearing a niqab.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the judge violated Muhammad's civil rights.

"Although a niqab is donned by a minority of Muslim females, it is still a bona fide religious practice," he said.

Britons are in the middle of a heated debate over veils, set off this month when former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, now leader of the House of Commons, said Muslim women visiting his office should remove their veils.

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Old 10-23-2006, 11:05 AM   #17
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We had a dispute in Alabama over a law that made it compulsory for a woman to remove a headscarf or nun's headdress for a drivers' license picture. After much controversy, the law was abolished. I was happy when the law was abolished; I didn't think it was fair to Muslim women or Catholic nuns.

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Old 10-23-2006, 01:20 PM   #18
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I'm with CAIR. I don't think it's right to force a Muslim woman to unveil if she doesn't think it's right to do so. In Islam, the concept of modesty is very important. Some women feel strongly about this.
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Old 10-23-2006, 09:10 PM   #19
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Originally posted by verte76

I'm going to try to do some research to see if this is a hold-over from pre-Islamic Arabic culture. I wouldn't be surprised if it is. It's definitely not of Persian origin, and it's not of Turkic origin. If it goes back anywhere it would have to be Arabic.
I'm pretty sure that the practicing of veiling and the general seclusion of women is pre-Islamic and has more to do with Arabic culture than religion (though it may have since gained a religious rationale. A lot of cultural stuff gets dressed up as religious mandate in all parts of the world and in all religions. Like say celebrating Christmas for Christians).
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Old 10-24-2006, 02:49 AM   #20
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I think people need to leave their fucking opinions out of it. Why do people feel like that need to run around saving everyone from a horrible fate worse then death?!?! Like yolland said, when i see a veiled woman i think nothing more the a subconcious thought of 'muslim' or whatever. My next door neighbours wear the full head to toe garmet and we have had chats outside and she seems fine. Why do we assume its control over the woman, maybe she wants to wear it, or heaven forbid grew up in a culture where it was normal for women to dress like that. Who are we to stand from a mountain and point down at them and say how teorrible for them. Its their life, they choose, they have a choice EVERYONE has a choice, it may be between a rock and a hard place but you have a choice.

Also, i'd like to see all the girls walking around with their fat hanging over their jeans or their boobs swinging to a fro round their knees or their arses shoved into tight pants covered in a dress, i think it would much nicer walking the street like that!

sorry for being rather testy, i just get very annoyed when people start acting as if wearing a head covering is 'shifty' or women are being controlled because of it because we don't know the story and we shouldnt put our judgements on them!
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Old 10-26-2006, 08:32 AM   #21
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Funny how that actually mirrors the attitudes that some people have about rape in the US

By ROHAN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer

A senior Muslim cleric compared women who go without a head scarf to "uncovered meat" left out for scavengers, drawing widespread condemnation and calls Thursday for his resignation.

Sheik Taj Aldin al Hilali denied he was condoning rape when he made the comments in a sermon last month, and apologized to any women he had offended, saying they were free to dress as they wished.

Hilali was quoted in The Australian newspaper Thursday as saying in the sermon: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside ... without cover, and the cats come to eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats' or the uncovered meat's?"

"The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred," he was quoted as saying, referring to the headdress worn by some Muslim women.

Prime Minister John Howard called the remarks "appalling and reprehensible."

"The idea that women are to blame for rapes is preposterous," Howard said.

The comments come during a heated debate in Britain about religious freedom centered around whether Muslim women should wear veils. Similar passions raged when France banned head scarves and other religious symbols in public schools two years ago.

In Australia, there was widespread condemnation Thursday of the cleric's comments from other Muslim leaders, civil libertarians and political leaders.

Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward said Hilali's comment was an incitement to rape and that Australia's Muslims should force him to resign.

"This is inciting young men to a violent crime because it is the woman's fault," Goward told television's Nine Network. "It is time the Islamic community did more than say they were horrified. I think it is time he left."

Hilali is the top cleric at Sydney's largest mosque, and is considered the most senior Islamic leader by many Muslims in Australia and New Zealand.

He has in the past served as an adviser to the Australian government on Muslim issues, but triggered a controversy in 2004 for saying in a sermon in Lebanon that the Sept. 11 attacks were "God's work against the oppressors." Hilali said later he did not mean that he supported the attacks, or terrorism.

Relations between Australia's almost 300,000 Muslims and the majority Christian-heritage population are tense following riots last December that often pitted white gangs against youths of Middle Eastern decent.

Howard offended some Muslims recently by singling out some Muslims as extremists who should adopt Australia's Western liberal attitudes to women's rights.

Many Muslims say they are increasingly treated with suspicion since the Sept. 11 and other international terrorist attacks. Waleed Aly, a member of the Islamic Council of Victoria state, said Hilali's comments would result in more antagonism toward Muslims.

"I am expecting a deluge of hate mail," he said. "I am expecting people to get abused in the street and get abused at work."

Hilali said in a statement he was shocked by Thursday's reaction to his sermon.

"The presentation related to religious teachings on modesty and not to go to extremes in enticements, this does not condone rape, I condemn rape," he said.

"Women in our Australian society have the freedom and right to dress as they choose, the duty of man is to avert his glance or walk away," he said.

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