Canada: Appeal Court rules in favour of Muslim woman on hijab ban in court

5th Oct 2018
Canada: Appeal Court rules in favour of Muslim woman on hijab ban in court

By Seyit Aydogan

 

TORONTO (AA): A top court in Canada’s Quebec province has ruled in favor of a woman after a judge told her Muslim headscarf violated the rules of courtroom modesty.

On February 2015, Rania El-Alloul was told by provincial court’s judge that she would have to remove her headscarf in order to be heard by the court.

In a unanimous vote, Quebec Court of Appeal on Wednesday ruled the Quebec court’s dress code does not forbid headscarves if they constitute a sincere religious belief and don’t harm the public interest.

“Freedom of religious expression does not stop at the door of a courtroom,” wrote the Court of Appeal in a statement.

Regarding the decision, El-Alloul said: “I didn’t do this for me, I did it for everybody, because I didn’t want them to face what I did. I did it because I felt it was my duty and my right.”

In a statement, the National Council of Canadian Muslims also welcomed the decision.

Khalid Elgazzar, the council’s vice chairman said: “Access to justice means that courts have to be open to all Canadians regardless of how they choose to manifest their faith. The Quebec Court of Appeal decision is unequivocal in affirming this principle and the religious freedom of Quebecers when accessing the courts.”

[Map of Canada. By Shaundd/Creative Commons]

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