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Canadian Judge Says Muslim Woman Isn’t #SuitablyDressed for Court

The judge postponed her case because she wouldn’t remove her hijab.

Rania Al-Alloul. Screencap of CBC News video.

A Canadian judge revealed herself to be a racist, bigoted jerk when she refused to hear the case of a Muslim who wears the hijab. Judge Eliana Marengo told Rania Al-Alloul that she wasn’t “suitably dressed” for the court and that she would have to remove the headscarf if she wanted to present her case. Al-Alloul, who was in court to get her car back after it was impounded by the police, refused to do so. Judge Marengo then adjourned court.


“When she insisted I should remove my hijab, really I felt like she was talking with me as... not a human being,” Al-Alloul told CBC News. “I don't want this thing to happen to any other lady. This is not the work of a judge. She doesn't deserve to be a judge."

The whole courtroom exchange was captured on a tape obtained by CBC News,

"Hats and sunglasses for example, are not allowed. And I don't see why scarves on the head would be either," Judge Eliana Marengo is heard saying on the tape. "The same rules need to be applied to everyone. I will therefore not hear you if you are wearing a scarf on your head, just as I would not allow a person to appear before me wearing a hat or sunglasses on his or her head, or any other garment not suitable for a court proceeding."

Unfortunately, no one was available at the time to tell Judge Eliana Marengo that her racism was unsuitable for civilized company. The internet, however, soon caught wind Al-Alloul’s story and birthed a hashtag campaign in her defense. A Canadian lawyer named Amna Qureshi posted a photo of herself wearing the headscarf and holding a placard that read, “#SuitablyDressed”. Others followed suit, challenging the notion of “suitable dress” and defending the right to wear religious clothing. A GoFundMe campaign raised more than $48,000 to buy Al-Alloul a new car.

Despite the outcry, a spokesperson for the courthouse said on Friday that it supports Judge Marengo’s decision, exhibiting a real contempt for the dictates of basic human decency.

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