بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Yesterday, December 17th in Douglasville, Georgia, Miedah Valentine, accompanying her nephew to a traffic citation hearing, was read her rights and placed under arrest after refusing to remove her hijab.
Local news outfit, WSBTV, published article here:
Muslim Arrested Over Headscarf In Courtroom
When I consider the multitude of discriminatory occurrences reported in this State and abroad, the story itself isn't all that shocking. I would be taken aback, however, if this State went a single year without legal authorities or establishments bound by strict rules committing such violations. What does amaze me about this story, and others like it, is how the news portrays the story as though she was in fact breaking a law. In this case the prohibition of headgear in Georgia courtrooms. However, they conveniently fail to list the conditions under which said law is to be enforced. Hence you get comments as you see below the article I provided above. Most which accuse Valentine of arrogantly violating these country's laws and getting what she deserved. I'm sorely curious though of these same individuals' reaction had it been someone jailed for wearing a Confederate Flag tie to court. It's not hate, it's heritage, right? As my wife would say: "it's a heritage of hate." I digress?
So yes, while court dress code laws in Georgia prohibit head gear, it is of course not without exception, that being for medical or religious reasons. And according to Georgia's own Court Conduct Handbook officers at the court's security checkout are lawfully obligated to have handled such a matter as described:
"As communities become more diverse, some of the traditional
notions about what is acceptable court attire may be outdated.
For example, court personnel may first wish to inquire
discreetly whether certain headwear has religious and/or cultural
significance (when someone is dressed in non-western traditional
clothing), rather than simply directing that person to
remove such headwear in open court."
It are these little details going unmentioned in the broadcasted and published reports that uproots most of my frustration. They only go so far as to make a violation of religious rights seem like a matter of opinion when in fact it's according to both State and Federal law. I suppose it's sort of like The Constitution or Prophet Jesus alayhis salaam, they admire them to the point of worship, but never seem to actually follow them.
Personally, I think once Valentine is released she should be presented with an Rosa Parks Award. Which would further show just how far the State of Georgia has come along since the Civil Rights Movement.
Ya Muslimeen, may we pray Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala grant ease to Sister Miedah Valentine and her family. May Allah grant her justice and may our nation's courts, corporations, schools, businesses and so forth either revise their laws as they honestly desire to carry them out or submit to the ones they've created and sworn to submit to. May we admit our sincerest du'as to our Brothers and Sisters in Islam unjustly scandalized and incarcerated, those like Imam Jamil al Amin, Dr. Ali al-Timimi and Tariq Mehanna that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala grant them refuge from physical and mental harm and a speedy victory.
Ameen Ya Rabb'al-ameen!