The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Muslim woman in Georgia who was arrested in 2008 when she refused to remove her head scarf while entering the Douglasville Municipal Court to accompany her nephew to a traffic hearing. The woman, Lisa Valentine, verbally protested the order and was briefly jailed for contempt of court. Ms. Valentine is suing the City of Douglasville and court officers for damages, arguing that her religious freedoms were violated. Georgia has since recommended that religious head coverings be permissible in the state’s courthouses, but Ms. Valentine is asking for the recommendation to be made a binding policy.
When Switzerland recently voted to ban the construction of minaret towers at mosques, some observers interpreted it as an expression of European xenophobia that would never find a home in multicultural America. That isn’t entirely the case.
In hundreds of communities across the U.S. where Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and other religious minorities have sought to build or expand their houses of worship, private citizens have gone to great lengths to block their construction. Tactics range from using eminent domain and citing traffic concerns to running pig races and stirring up fears of terrorism.
Such cases are currently unfolding in Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, Georgia, and California.
Muslim civil rights group had challenged ban on religious attire in courtrooms
WASHINGTON, July 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today applauded a decision by the Judicial Council of Georgia to allow religious attire such as Islamic headscarves, or hijab, in that state’s courtrooms.
Islam Online examines the availability of halal, or Islamically permissible foods on various US university and college campuses. At Stanford University, halal food is widely available on several places of the campus – though it is not already made, but must be done so on-demand. At Harvard University, already-made halal meals on campus have been stimulated by support from wealthy Arab countries. However, such availability is not always the case on other campuses with growing a growing Muslim student body. A Yale student reflects on the dining halls of the university’s New Haven, Connecticut campus. “I didn’t find any halal grocery or meat store on the campus. I had no car and we were frustrated,” reported Imtiaz Ali. Georgia Tech students reported sticking to vegetarian meals, without a halal option at school.
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A Pakistani man in Atlanta, Georgia, stands accused of killing his daughter because she wanted out of an arranged marriage. Chaudhry Rashid has been accused of strangling his daughter, 25-year old Sandeela Kanwal, after she expressed her unhappiness with the marriage her father arranged for her. Just a few months after she was married, Sandeela returned to her family’s home. After a heated argument, Mr. Rashid wrapped a bungee cord around Sandeel’s neck resulting in fatal strangulation. Shortly after police arrived to the scene, Mr. Rashid suffered a seizure and taken to a local hospital. Hours later, he was transferred to jail and charged with murder. In a court hearing this week, Rashid told an Atlanta judge I have done nothing wrong. He is currently being held without bond, and awaits a second hearing on August 4th.