Press Releases

WA: Head Judge Establishes Policy on Hijab in Court

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/17/06) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded a new policy established by the City of Tacoma Municipal Court allowing religious attire to be worn in courtrooms.

The new policy issued by Presiding Judge Arthur “Jack” Emery, was the result of an incident earlier this year in which a Muslim woman was ejected from another judge’s courtroom for refusing to remove her religiously-mandated headscarf. CAIR intervened on behalf of the woman, who later received an apology from the court.

SEE: WA Judge Apologizes for Ejecting Muslim Woman from Court

In a March 9 memorandum to municipal court judges and staff, Judge Emery wrote: “This will confirm that no person shall be excluded from a courtroom for wearing attire for religious or medical purposes. The appropriateness of all other attire is within the Judge’s discretion.”

Judge Emery also told CAIR that the court is also pursuing an educational program regarding religiously-mandated attire.

“We thank Judge Emery for his efforts to provide religious accommodation in Tacoma courtrooms,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “It is important that everyone’s religious practices be respected, and it particularly important that they be respected in a court of law.”

CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.

CONTACT: CAIR-Seattle President Rami Al-Kabra, 206-349-5995, E-Mail:; Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:


Share on facebook
Share on twitter