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ADL Calls on The County to Allow Muslim Women's Headcoverings in Its Courtroom

CLEVELAND, OHIO, July 15, 2002…The Anti-Defamation League calls upon Cuyahoga County corrections officials to reverse their decision to not permit Muslim women to wear their hijab in the courtroom. The corrections officials refused to allow Aisha Samad to wear her customary head covering when she appeared in court last month. There appears to be no standard that would be compromised by allowing Ms. Samad to wear her hijab when she appeared before a Common Pleas Court judge.

Bettysue Feuer, Regional ADL Director, and Howard A. Levy, Regional ADL Board Chair, stated:

"The ADL understands the security needs in jails and other criminal justice venues, but in the case of Aisha Samad the refusal by county officials to allow Ms. Samad to wear her religious head covering is an affront to all religious people. We can think of no rationale that would demand such a policy. Ms. Samad should have been allowed to don her hijab before entering the public courtroom. At a minimum, the state must accommodate the religious practices of its citizens."


The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.



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