Detroit Muslim woman loses case – take off the veil demands judge

A U.S. Federal Judge heard and dismissed a case on Monday involving a Muslim Detroit woman who claims that being forced to remove her veil in court caused her to lose her case.

In October 2006, 44-year old Ginnnah Muhammad donned a niqab – a traditional veil and scarf that covers the entire head and most of the face – during her hearing in which she was disputing a $3,000 fee from Enterprise Rent-A-Car to repair a vehicle which Muhammad claims burglars had broken into. According to the Associated Press, Judge Paul Paruk “told her he needed to see her face to judge her truthfulness and gave her a choice: Take off the veil or have the case dismissed.”

Margaret Nelson, Assistant state attorney general, represented Paruk and argued that he needed to “fully observe” Muhammad in order to properly determine the facts. “It was a temporary, necessary, limited action (that had) only incidental impact on the practice of her religion,” Nelson said.

Wired PR News, 13 May 2008