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CAIR Asks Louisiana Judge to Ensure that Courtroom Hijab Ban Not Be Repeated

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/28/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on a Louisiana judge to ensure that the recent removal of a Muslim woman from court because she wears an Islamic head scarf, or hijab, not be repeated.

CAIR said the Muslim woman, who does not want to be identified, says she removed from Jefferson Parish Traffic Court on Tuesday after a bailiff asked her to remove her hijab and she refused. The woman stated: “I started to cry because I felt so embarrassed and humiliated.”

Judge Raylyn Beevers, who admitted that she asked the Muslim woman to leave the courtroom, now says she did not realize the head covering was worn for religious reasons.

Video: Muslim Woman Says Judge Asked Her to Leave Courtroom When She Declined to Remove Her Head Covering

In a letter to Judge Beevers, CAIR Senior Staff Attorney William Burgess wrote in part:

“Media reports indicate that you did not realize at the time that her hijab was worn for religious reasons. In the wake of this incident, we express our hope that such a clear violation of constitutional rights will never be repeated and that existing policy (General Courtroom Conduct Rule 6.1) protecting those wearing religious attire be explained to and implemented by all courtroom staff.â€

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171, nnaeem@cair.com

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