'I Felt Humiliated'
January 30, 2006
By Jon Repp
TACOMA - A Tacoma judge is under fire for kicking a
Muslim woman out of his courtroom after she refused to
remove her head-scarf.
"I felt humiliated," said 37-year old Mujaahidah
Sayfullah, who has worn her head-scarf in court
She says she couldn't believe it when first the
bailiff and then Tacoma Municipal Court Judge David
Ladenburg told her as she sat in the audience that
either her head-scarf could go -- or she could.
"He said, 'well, if you're not gonna do it then I'm
going to have to ask you to remove yourself from the
courtroom,' " she said.
She left, fearing the judge would take it out on the
relative who was on trial.
Judge Ladenburg stands by his decision
"It's my understanding and belief that the Muslim
religion does not prohibit the removal of
head-coverings either for males of for females," he
says...noting that unless he learns that an exception
should be made, there's a courtroom standard that must
Ladenburg says it wasn't religious
discrimination...but Mujaahidah says it sure felt like
it, and that's why she's telling her story.
"Just for it to be exposed, and the public be aware
that people are able to blatantly discriminate based
upon their position of power," she said.
The Council on American-Islamic relations has sent a
note to Ladenburg, notifying him of the allegations
Ladenburg says he plans to respond.
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