A Douglasville woman was jailed Tuesday after a judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to remove her hijab, the head covering worn by Muslim women.
Lisa Valentine, also known by her Islamic name, Miedah, 40, was arrested at the Douglasville Municipal Court for violating a court policy of no headgear, said Chris Womack, deputy chief of operations for the Douglasville Police Department.
She was taken before Judge Keith Rollins, who ordered her held in jail for 10 days. However, her husband said she was released Tuesday evening. The reason for her release wasn’t immediately clear.
Last week, the same judge apparently threw out another Muslim woman from his courtroom.
Sabreen Abdul Rahman, 55, said she had gone to court with her son when she was asked to take off her scarf. “I can’t. I’m Muslim,” she mouthed silently to the bailiff, who then removed her from the courtroom, Rahman said.
“This is a religious right,” she said. “This is unconstitutional. And humiliating.”
Many Muslim women cover their heads to comply with modesty mandated by Islam. This practice has come up against policies aimed at maintaining decorum in public places across the country.
Valentine’s husband, Omar Hall, said she was accompanying her nephew to address a traffic citation Tuesday when she was stopped at the metal detector and told she would not be allowed to enter the courtroom with a head scarf.
Hall said Valentine, an insurance underwriter, told the bailiff that she had been in courtrooms before with a scarf on; that removing it would be a religious violation. She became frustrated, then turned to leave and uttered an expletive, Hall said.
That’s when the bailiff handcuffed her and took her to the judge’s chambers, Hall said.
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