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Oct 7, 2014

Muslim Woman Claims Religious Discrimination

There is a truly disturbing story to report tonight in which a Muslim woman claims she was denied access to court because of her religion. The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, is a victim of domestic abuse. She sought the intervention of the court for a restraining order against her husband, and was given a date to appear. But she says that when she did, on September twenty-fourth, a Policeman assigned to the Family Court Magistrate told her that she would have to take off her headpiece or she would not be able to enter the Court. Today News Five spoke to the woman who says that the one place where she should have been afforded full protection under the law, failed her.


Voice of: Muslim Woman

“Before going into the Magistrate’s room, the officer confronted me and said I couldn’t come into the room unless I take off the head piece that I am wearing. So I told the officer that I’ve been to court so many times before and it was not an issue and it is part of my religious rights to wear this so if he can go back and check with the magistrate. He went inside and came out and said, no miss, I’m sorry…she said I cannot let you in unless you take off the head piece. I was frustrated and I mentioned to him that I’ve been travelling so many times before and I’ve had less issues with American immigration than I’ve had in Belize with this head piece. So I asked him what would be the consequence if I decide not to go into the room, which meant I would not take my head piece off; he said, miss that means that your case would be dismissed. So I told him okay then I accept that if that’s what it means for me to take off my head piece. I’m not going to take if off for the courts.”


Mike Rudon

“Could you explain to us what you were wearing that day? Is this the same outfit that you had on that day?”


Voice of: Muslim Woman

“It is the same outfit, it is the same head piece, it is the same T-shirt that I was wearing that day.”


Mike Rudon

“Could you explain to those of us who don’t have a full appreciation of the Muslim faith, the importance of the head dress?”


Voice of: Muslim Woman

“The head piece or hijab as we call it is an identification as a Muslim and as most religious based like bible, the Quran in our case, the woman is supposed to dress modestly and do not reveal herself to other people, like to other men.”


Mike Rudon

“Do you feel that what he was asking you to do; to take off this head piece, would have been to go against your faith?”


Voice of: Muslim Woman

“It is against my faith and against my religious rights and there was no issue or no situation where it was needed to be taken off. I felt that that person just had a personal issue with probably the head piece or with my religion. That’s all I can say. Right now my lawyer, we are going back to court first to get that separation and restraining order against my husband. And secondly, whoever is behind this, I’m sorry, but I can’t just excuse that person because they were probably having a bad day or having some ill-treatment towards somebody. They have a job to do and if you do something wrong, you get punished just like anybody else on the street.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “Muslim Woman Claims Religious Discrimination”

  1. Retired CEO says:

    This is so sad and inexcusable that an individual is denied access to the court, because of her religious attire/belief. Ignorance is certainly not bliss, it is hell in every sense of the word. This policeman ought to be suspended without pay.

  2. CEO says:

    Religious rights is one thing and I am all for that but when safety and security is questioned that is another thing.

    We live in a different world now and who knows what or who is under the Hijab. What if a woman wants to wear a Niqab will we allow that?

    Her religion also say they should not get a divorce or separation and her husband should not beat her either so why is she at the court? Why not stay home a take her blows as her religion implies she should?

    It is time to start thinking forward!

  3. BS sniffer says:

    This is an example of someone being more papal then the pope. While Islam puts an obligation on women to wear Hijab and disguise their entire body (and voice) in front of men, she is permitted to disclose parts of her body as might be necessary for legal testimony or medical treatment.

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