Georgia court jailed Muslim woman for head scarf violation

On December 16, 2008, a Muslim woman, Lisa Valentine, was arrested for contempt of court in Georgia after refusing to remove her headscarf upon entering a security checkpoint in an Atlanta courtroom. She was ordered to serve 10 days in jail for violating a court policy that prohibits wearing headwear in court. Valentine was released a day later after the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate. Although the Judicial Council of Georgia decided to allow the wearing of headwear for religious or medical reasons in July 2009, the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia (ACLUGA) filed a lawsuit on Valentine's behalf on December 14, 2010. A similar dispute arose in May 2011 over a Georgia state judge's initial refusal to allow a Muslim man to enter his court room on account of the man's religious headwear.


State flag of Georgia

Learn more about Georgia and the laws governing niqab and other religious clothing from the JURIST news archives and read commentary on Islamic dress from JURIST Guest Columnist Saleh Al Amer in Dateline.

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