Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The Story Behind The Niqab Wearing British Defendant

Last September, a good deal of attention was given to rulings by a British judge in the case of a Muslim woman charged with witness intimidation who sought to keep her face fully covered by her niqab at her arraignment and subsequently at her trial. (See prior posting). In a lengthy article yesterday, The Independent reports the back story on defendant Rebecca Dawson. The witness intimidation charges grew out of an encounter between Dawson and a volunteer caretaker at a local mosque who was planning to testify against Dawson's husband in his trial on assault charges.  According to the report:
At the root of the case, so it seemed, lay a dispute between two factions at the Finsbury Park Mosque. One believed that it was acceptable for tourists to be shown around the mosque with their heads uncovered and in Western dress; the other did not. Dawson’s husband was firmly in the latter camp, and when he learned that the caretaker had shown around a group of “improperly” dressed Portuguese visitors, he had gone to the mosque and duffed him up.
When the jury was deadlocked after 10 hours, Dawson agreed to a plea deal.  While awaiting sentence, Dawson went to trial along with her husband on other charges-- disseminating YouTube videos glorifying the terrorist killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby.