Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Wearing Hijab In Canadian Courtroom Stirs Controversy

Wearing of the hijab (Muslim head scarf) in the courtroom has become an issue of controversy in the Canadian province of Quebec.  CBC News reports that when Montreal area resident Rania El-Alloul appeared in court on Feb. 24 in an attempt to recover her auto which had been seized by the Quebec automobile insurance board, Judge Eliana Marengo refused to hear her testimony unless she would remove her hijab.  The judge's action stirred widespread criticism, and those sympathizing with El-Alloul even began on online crowdfunding effort to raise funds for a new car for her. While the effort has raised nearly $44,000, El-Alloul may not be able to take the funds or the car it will buy without losing her entitlement to welfare.  Meanwhile, another Montreal resident has filed a complaint about Judge Marengo's action with the Conseil de la magistrature du Québec (the Quebec Judicial Council) which has the authority to investigate and impose sanctions on provincial judges.