Muslim juror who refused to take veil off is ordered to stand down by judge because he wouldn’t be able to see her facial expressions

The Daily Mail:

By Rebecca Camber

PUBLISHED: 20:15 GMT, 19 March 2012 | UPDATED: 02:27 GMT, 20 March 2012

The Muslim woman was wearing a black hijab with a narrow slit showing her eyes. Picture above posed by modelThe Muslim woman was wearing a black hijab with a narrow slit showing her eyes. Picture above posed by model

A Muslim woman was barred from serving on a jury yesterday because she refused to remove her veil.

In an extraordinary ruling, a judge said she could not sit on an attempted murder trial because her full face covering, known as the niqab, concealed her expressions.

The woman was about to take the oath in the case at Blackfriars Crown Court in London when the judge interrupted to ask if she was prepared to remove the garment which covered her whole face, apart from a narrow slit through which her eyes could be seen.

Judge Aidan Marron QC, said it was ‘desirable’ that her face was ‘exposed’ during the trial and asked her to remove the veil.

When she refused she was told to stand down and a white male member of the jury pool was sworn in in her place.

In the presence of the rest of the jury, Judge Marron said: ‘I wonder whether I can address the lady who is veiled.

‘Would you prefer not to remove your veil in this particular case?’
The woman, who was wearing western clothing including a fitted grey jacket, replied: ‘Yes.’

Judge Marron added: ‘I entirely understand that, but in this particular case it is desirable that your face is exposed, so I’m going to invite you to stand down. I hope you understand.’

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The ruling, which is thought to be one of the first of its kind in Britain, has sparked outrage.

Yesterday Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said: ‘This is totally unacceptable. I really can’t understand why facial expressions could have any impact on the judge, the judgment or anyone else in a trial. It has no relevance.

‘I’m speechless that you can exclude someone on the basis of the way that they dress.

‘It’s very worrying that a judge is being prejudiced against women wearing a veil.’

The female Muslim was dismissed as a juror at Blackfriars Crown Court in London because her hijab concealed her facial expressionsThe female Muslim was dismissed as a juror at Blackfriars Crown Court in London because her hijab concealed her facial expressions

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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

5 Replies to “Muslim juror who refused to take veil off is ordered to stand down by judge because he wouldn’t be able to see her facial expressions”

  1. Most people are desperate not to do jury duty. It is a burden to most jurors. It sounds in this case that the woman wore the burka just to provoke the judge into getting her off jury duty. A burka + a fitted suit? That’s not the garb one sees along with a burka – I see scores of headbag women every day, and never see that combination.

    This juror couldn’t lose. She gets off jury duty and gets to claim that muslims are victims. She should have been made to remove the headbag, and do her jury duty.

    The point is this: the judge needs to know that she is the same juror day after day. Jurors have even been punished for using their mobile phones instead of paying attention to the trial on which they are serving.

  2. It’s not a matter of “just the way that they dress”. Covering one’s face is far more than just the style of one’s shirt. It’s more like cloaking your phone calls, but in face-to-face interaction, a behavior which cannot work in an honest society.

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