Diverse Groups Review Valdosta's Court Ban

July 12, 2007


Source: Florida Times-Union


Valdosta has examined a rule that prevents people from wearing headgear in courtrooms Wednesday, but has not decided how to update it.

City and court officials met Wednesday with representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, and the Georgia Association of Muslim Lawyers, or GAML, to discuss policies regarding the wearing of Islamic head scarves, or hijab, in courtrooms.

The meeting was prompted by a June incident in which a Muslim woman seeking to contest a speeding ticket was barred from a Valdosta courtroom when she refused to remove an Islamic head scarf.

Court officials cited homeland security reasons for denying entry to Aniisa Karim, 20, of Valdosta. CAIR and GAML asserted that Karim's rights to freedom of religion and equal protection under the law had been violated.