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sonz
11-10-2006, 05:51 PM
Muslim female lawyers can wear the full-face veil, or Niqab, in the courtroom as long as it doesn’t prevent them from being heard, the head of a network of British immigration courts ruled on Thursday, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The ruling by Sir Henry Hodge, head of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, comes days after a veiled Muslim lawyer refused to remove her Niqab at the request of an immigration judge at a hearing in Stoke-in-Trent, central England.

Judge George Glossop had asked Muslim lawyer Shabnam Mughal, 27, to remove her veil during an immigration hearing last Monday, claiming that he couldn’t hear properly.

But Mughal, who had appeared at a number of hearings wearing the Niqab, refused to take off her veil, insisting that removing it is against her religious beliefs and that she had the right to wear it during the immigration hearing last Monday.

Judge Glossop then adjourned the hearing until next week and asked Sir Hodge, Britain’s most senior immigration judge, to issue a decision about how to resolve the courtroom stand-off.

On Thursday, Sir Hodge ruled that legal representatives should be allowed to wear the veil because "it is important to be sensitive in such cases".

“The representative in the recent case has appeared veiled previously at hearings without difficulties,” he said.

"The presumption is that if a representative before a tribunal wishes to wear a veil, has the agreement of his or her client and can be heard reasonably clearly by all parties to the proceedings, then the representative should be allowed to do so,” Sir Hodge added.

Sir Hodge’s ruling is only temporary until a full declaration from the Judicial Studies Board, which issues advice to judges on questions of race and faith equality.

Javid Hussain, the practice manager at Coventry Law Partnership - where Miss Mughal works – said after Thursday’s ruling: "It doesn't appear to be a permanent ruling. It looks like he has left it up to whichever judge is sitting on each case and has left the door open.”

"Mr. Justice Hodge seems to be saying that the tribunal chairman was within his rights to ask for the removal of the veil…In a way, we find that disappointing and would have preferred it to be clearer and more supportive of our employee.” Hussain added.

Mughal’s case fuels a fierce debate in Britain over the right of Muslim women to wear the full-face veil.

Last month, former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw described the Niqab as a "visible statement of separation", and said that he asks veiled women who visit his office to take off their veils.

Shortly afterwards, a Muslim teaching assistant in northern England lost a claim of discrimination and harassment against Kirklees Council, West Yorkshire, which said that she must remove her Niqab in the classroom.

Prime Minister Tony Blair eventually joined the debate by saying that the Niqab is a “mark of separation”, and that veiled women make others feel “uncomfortable”.

Trevor Phillips, the head of Britain's race relations watchdog, the Commission for Racial Equality, warned that the debate was growing ugly and could trigger riots.

He said Britons were becoming increasingly polarized along racial and religious lines, and risk fueling unrest if they don't discuss their differences respectfully.
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Bittersteel
11-10-2006, 06:25 PM
hmm..okay.However if the Brits find it difficult only the veil maybe asked to be removed.
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Pygoscelis
11-11-2006, 09:23 PM
Every now and then these veil issues come up. I say let people wear what they wish so long as it doesn't create practical (can they be heard?) or security (can they be identified?) problems.
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Sister Hoddan
11-11-2006, 09:49 PM
assalaamu 3alaikum.

"Judge George Glossop had asked Muslim lawyer Shabnam Mughal, 27, to remove her veil during an immigration hearing last Monday, claiming that he couldn’t hear properly."



Sub7anAllah, what a lame excuse. It is definately not hard to hear a woman in niqaab speak.
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Trumble
11-11-2006, 11:24 PM
The thread title is totally misleading.

They didn't "win the right" to wear the veil in Court, they had never been denied that right. What happened here is that the Judge asked her to remove it because he couldn't hear what she was saying (rather a drawback in Court). All this ruling has clarified is that it is permissable to ask the veil to be removed in those circumstances, but not for other reasons.

It's simply common sense. All those present in Court need to hear what the lawyers representing each side are saying. The Judge couldn't hear what Mughal was saying... there is no reason to believe that was an 'excuse' for another motive unless you are as prejudiced as you suggest the Judge was. This case doesn't imply the veil is always a problem, maybe she just has a quiet voice, maybe the Judge was a little deaf, some Courtrooms have better acoustics than others - who knows?

Think about it from the point of view of her client, who may well have been muslim themselves. Would you want to be represented at an immigration hearing by someone the Judge couldn't hear?!
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- Qatada -
11-11-2006, 11:27 PM
Then it's upto the judge to get a hearing aid :p she shouldn't have to remove her veil just because the judge has a problem. :)
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Trumble
11-11-2006, 11:50 PM
Originally Posted by Fi_Sabilillah
Then it's upto the judge to get a hearing aid :p she shouldn't have to remove her veil just because the judge has a problem. :)
So why should judge get an otherwise not-needed hearing aid just because she has a problem? We don't know that was the reason. Even if it was, you are being just as prejudiced as she claimed the Court was.

For those with hearing problems sometimes just "getting a hearing aid" isn't sufficient to restore hearing to 'normal' levels and quality - sometimes even 'loud' phrases may be unclear. Nobody would say that a partially blind person should just "get a pair of glasses" and expect them to have 20/20 vision. That doesn't stop people with hearing, or eyesight, problems doing their jobs, but sometimes others need to show a little consideration. Or is it OK to be prejudiced against the disabled as long as they are not muslim?
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- Qatada -
11-11-2006, 11:54 PM
Trumble, what i'm saying is that she shouldn't be blameworthy or reliable for what the judge is experiencing. Therefore if the judge has a hearing problem, then the ones who own the courtroom should do more to give the room better 'acoustics' instead of blaming the woman in the veil.


That's my point, i weren't trying to attack the judge at a personal level.



Peace.
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
11-11-2006, 11:55 PM
Astaghfirullah, its not ok to be prejudice against anyone..
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Pygoscelis
11-12-2006, 06:28 AM
I'm not sure just how silencing a veil is. I've never worn one and I've never spoken to somebody wearing one. Just how much does it cut down or garble their voice?

Certainly she shouldn't be wearing it if its interfering with her being heard. She should either speak up, remove the veil, or find a new lawyer for her client. Seems mighty weird that she'd keep wanting to wear the veil if she knows she can't be heard with it on. She'd be knowingly screwing her client.
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lyesh
11-12-2006, 08:42 AM
Dont blame the niqaab! We all know it not that hard to hear a women in Niqaab talking!
Dont U hear people talking in the next room? Or the Vehicles Driving on the road? And there is a big barrier ...... A Wall! So how can a small piece of clothe just make her sound proof! Think common sense! :)

peace
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Pygoscelis
11-12-2006, 09:56 AM
Originally Posted by lyesh
Dont blame the niqaab! We all know it not that hard to hear a women in Niqaab talking!
Dont U hear people talking in the next room? Or the Vehicles Driving on the road? And there is a big barrier ...... A Wall! So how can a small piece of clothe just make her sound proof! Think common sense! :)

peace
Evidently she wasn't being heard. Maybe it wasn't the veil. Maybe she's just a mute? Either way she shouldn't be speaking for her client if she can't be heard.
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lyesh
11-12-2006, 12:00 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Evidently she wasn't being heard. Maybe it wasn't the veil. Maybe she's just a mute? Either way she shouldn't be speaking for her client if she can't be heard.
so..... whts the use of telling her to remove her veil????? i just cant understand why some ppl have a big problem with us being covered!;D
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Curious girl2
11-12-2006, 12:11 PM
Originally Posted by lyesh
Dont blame the niqaab! We all know it not that hard to hear a women in Niqaab talking!
Dont U hear people talking in the next room? Or the Vehicles Driving on the road? And there is a big barrier ...... A Wall! So how can a small piece of clothe just make her sound proof! Think common sense! :)

peace
You'd be surprised. It wont make her sound proof of course not, but it possibly would make her speech garbled and difficult to decifer, especially if the courtroom acoustics caused an echo effect (even if only a slight effect). The material of her Niqaab will also hinder the soundwaves coming from her mouth. Plenty of people with hearing loss can hear traffic outside when they are indoors but find speech hard to decifer. Its all to do with which frequencies their hearing is deficient in. I am hearing impaired, in my left ear I have about 60% hearing loss and in my right ear I have around 40% loss. I do not need a hearing aid, infact a hearing aid wouldnt benefit me at all as I have enough residual hearing to cope, a hearing aid would distort that. I can hear the traffic outside my home, my husband snoring in bed (so loud I need earplugs!), the children playing at school across the road from my home. However I have real problems hearing speech if there is background noise. If the person is turned away from me, or I cannot see their face i find it very hard to hear what they are saying as I do rely on lip reading to *boost* up my hearing. Many people have my type of hearing loss, its quite common. With many people not even realising that they would be considered hearing impaired.

Personally I agree with her decision to wear Niqaab, if thats what she wants, there is nothing wrong with that. I can see how she would feel more comfortable with it on, however in this case, with it being in an important court of law, where misunderstandings could affect the whole of a persons life, then I think it is best that the lady remove her Niqaab if it is possible that her speech could be misheard or unheard.

Peace
CG
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lyesh
11-12-2006, 12:47 PM
Originally Posted by Curious girl2
You'd be surprised. It wont make her sound proof of course not, but it possibly would make her speech garbled and difficult to decifer, especially if the courtroom acoustics caused an echo effect (even if only a slight effect). The material of her Niqaab will also hinder the soundwaves coming from her mouth. Plenty of people with hearing loss can hear traffic outside when they are indoors but find speech hard to decifer.
A courtroom is meant to have silence when one is talking! So I am sure that the speech would be heard very clearly. And the echo which ur talking about wud also be present there when the others talk. And for your information a niqaabi doesnt tightly wrap the clothe around her mouth for the speech to be garbled! The clothe is tied loosely under her eyes to the back of her head so that it is laid down easily. And if the people have hearing loss also, that is no reason for them to blame the niqaab! And may Allah help them in their difficulties. Ameen! :)
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Curious girl2
11-12-2006, 07:21 PM
Originally Posted by lyesh
A courtroom is meant to have silence when one is talking! So I am sure that the speech would be heard very clearly. And the echo which ur talking about wud also be present there when the others talk. And for your information a niqaabi doesnt tightly wrap the clothe around her mouth for the speech to be garbled! The clothe is tied loosely under her eyes to the back of her head so that it is laid down easily. And if the people have hearing loss also, that is no reason for them to blame the niqaab! And may Allah help them in their difficulties. Ameen! :)
I am well aware that the Niqaab isnt tied tightly around the mouth. I have worn one on a couple of occassions.....

However even though the Niqaab doesnt restrict mouth movements, it will restrict soundwaves somewhat. It will also prevent a person who has hearing loss from lipreading. I am sure that a hearing impaired person wouldnt blame the Niqaab for not being able to hear, how ridiculous would that be? But the Niqaab would prevent lipreading, there is no denying that. As to the courtroom acoustics, yes the Niqaab would make a difference, if you consider that soundwaves would be slightly impaired by it. That combined with echos, papers rustling, the stenographer tiptapping away, air conditioning/heating humming and many other quiet noises that a hearing person wouldnt even think twice about, would make things even more difficult for a hearing impaired person to understand the speech especially if they were prevented from lipreading.

This is just one of the few situations when wearing a Niqaab could be considered difficult. Others being passport photographs, in the classroom (the recent news item) etc. The rest of the time there is no problem at all.

Peace
CG
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
11-12-2006, 08:49 PM
I guess you could consider the same during surgery? You still have noise there and they cover their mouth. And they cover it more tightly.
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Curious girl2
11-12-2006, 09:01 PM
Originally Posted by Tayyaba
I guess you could consider the same during surgery? You still have noise there and they cover their mouth. And they cover it more tightly.
Well personally I would be a little alarmed if I was the patient and was awake during surgery..................! Though obviously there are instances of surgery under local anaesthetic. The same difficulties would apply though for a hearing impaired person, but I would consider sugical masks to be essential to prevent chances of infection etc...

Peace
CG
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
11-12-2006, 09:03 PM
I wasn't talking just about the patient. I also was referring to the people around helping with the surgery.
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Curious girl2
11-12-2006, 09:05 PM
Originally Posted by Tayyaba
I wasn't talking just about the patient. I also was referring to the people around helping with the surgery.
Yes it would be a problem for people working in the operating theatre, just as it would be for the patient, there is no getting away from that.

Peace CG
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Muezzin
11-12-2006, 09:09 PM
What's all this talk of operating theatres? I thought this was about a lawyer. :p :D
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Pygoscelis
11-12-2006, 09:33 PM
It isn't about her being covered. Its about her being heard. If she isn't heard she shouldn't be in the courtroom doing a disservice to her client regardless of the reason she isn't being heard, whether it is the veil or not.

Evidently in this case the Judge thought it was the veil, so it had to come off. I'm sure she had the option of finding her client another lawyer and leaving the court proceedings.
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
11-12-2006, 09:36 PM
Then I should tell the doctors to leave the room because they're covering their mouth. They do it because they are following the rules of the hospital, just like the woman wearing the veil because she is following the Laws of God.
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Curious girl2
11-12-2006, 09:51 PM
Originally Posted by Tayyaba
Then I should tell the doctors to leave the room because they're covering their mouth. They do it because they are following the rules of the hospital, just like the woman wearing the veil because she is following the Laws of God.

I am presuming you are replying to me..... I am a little confused, why should you tell the doctor to leave the room? The doctor is covering his mouth to prevent infection which endanger the life of the patient. There is no choice involved.

The sister who was wearing the Niqaab, chose to do so. Yes I know that obviously she felt she needed to, to follow God's laws, but for the most part it is accepted that Niqaab is personal choice (I am aware that some muslims feel that Niqaab is obligatory, but on the other side of the coin, other muslims feel that Hijab is enough). I really dont know enough about this particular case to judge whether hearing impairment was involved, I am just trying to put across the view of a hearing impaired person. If the judge in question asked this lady to remove her Niqaab because he was hearing impaired and it was preventing him from lipreading or understanding her speech adequately then I think he was justified. For any other reason, then no, she should be allowed to wear her Niqaab in court if she wishes.

Peace
CG
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Pygoscelis
11-12-2006, 09:52 PM
Doctors cover their mouths when in a court room? Why on earth? What a quirky society you must live in.
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
11-12-2006, 09:55 PM
Originally Posted by Curious girl2
I am presuming you are replying to me..... I am a little confused, why should you tell the doctor to leave the room? The doctor is covering his mouth to prevent infection which endanger the life of the patient. There is no choice involved.

The sister who was wearing the Niqaab, chose to do so. Yes I know that obviously she felt she needed to, to follow God's laws, but for the most part it is accepted that Niqaab is personal choice (I am aware that some muslims feel that Niqaab is obligatory, but on the other side of the coin, other muslims feel that Hijab is enough). I really dont know enough about this particular case to judge whether hearing impairment was involved, I am just trying to put across the view of a hearing impaired person. If the judge in question asked this lady to remove her Niqaab because he was hearing impaired and it was preventing him from lipreading or understanding her speech adequately then I think he was justified. For any other reason, then no, she should be allowed to wear her Niqaab in court if she wishes.

Peace
CG
Sorry, u presumed wrong sister :)
The doctor wears it to prevent germs and such, and a Muslim sisters who wear it, do it to prevent gazes from men. When a doctor talks, it too comes out unclear, dont u need to communicate during such a thing? Why the double standards?
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Curious girl2
11-12-2006, 09:57 PM
Originally Posted by Tayyaba
Sorry, u presumed wrong sister :)
OK, no probs! :)

Peace CG
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Pygoscelis
11-12-2006, 10:01 PM
I was being addressed and I responded accordingly. Nonsense to nonsense.

The doctor covers her mouth to stop infection. She did so in an entirely different setting, a hospital, not a court room.

You may as well have asked "Why doesn't a boxer have to take out his mouthguard" or "Why doesn't a scuba diver have to take off her breathing apparatus".
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
11-12-2006, 10:04 PM
Lol i responded accordingly, either u didnt read it or felt like ignoring it. It doesnt matter the setting, u still communicate in it. The doctor had his legiteasons and we, as Muslim woman, have ours. We'll choose to obey G-d over a human being.

Regards

Originally Posted by Curious girl2
OK, no probs! :)

Peace CG
Ok then :)

Peace
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Pygoscelis
11-13-2006, 06:49 PM
Originally Posted by Tayyaba
It doesnt matter the setting
It doesn't matter the setting?

Of course the setting matters.

A doctor could be endangering somebody's life if she didn't wear her mask during surgery. A lawyer is actually DOING THEIR CLIENT HARM if they can not be heard.

There is no paralel between the two. One mask is aiding the work being done and the other is hindering it.

Of course the best solution is probably just for the lady in question to speak up.
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
11-13-2006, 08:26 PM
The point i am trying to make, either ur ignoring it or picking and choosing what you want to answer. It doesn't matter. Here we are discussing communication, which even with DOCTORS covering their mouth, its difficult. Yet we agree they need to cuz its for the best. Just like Muslim woman who veil, for us, its best. That is the point being addressed here. Yet u feel the need to drag that point, being thats how confusion and debate arises.

Regards
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Muezzin
11-13-2006, 08:28 PM
Okay, I tried the nice approach and no one listened.

Next person to go off topic about doctors or surgery theatres or clowns or anything other than the topic at hand will have their post deleted and infractions added.
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Pygoscelis
11-14-2006, 09:03 AM
Originally Posted by Tayyaba
Yet we agree they need to cuz its for the best. Just like Muslim woman who veil, for us, its best.
That is the fundamental difference. It isn't best for her client, only for her. She should not allow her religious views to impede her professional work effectiveness.

And if her religious practice makes her inefective and does her client and the court a dissservice she should find a way to make it work (such as speaking up perhaps) or have that practice interfered with. That is all that is going on here.
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
11-14-2006, 11:41 PM
Sorry Muezzin, but i need to use the doctor thing, because im trying to make my point. So please, if u dont mind =\

How is the doctor covering his mouth, best for the patient? The patient doesn't know whats going on during surgery. The doctors wear its to avoid germs and such from getting to them, no? Something similar to a Muslim woman. The only difference being is to avoid gazes and unnecessary attention. Ok the point being addressed here is that her client is unable to hear her while they try to talk to her or listen. I could say the same for those assisting the doctor. They can still hear, no? Has the woman not been wearing it before with other clients? Why the fuss with one now? If the client can't hear her, he/she can get another one.
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Muezzin
11-15-2006, 12:12 AM
You can discuss it as a point only, but if this thread becomes derailed as a result (in the way other threads have when someone has used something as unassuming as an example to prove a point), I will delete the posts.
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Pygoscelis
11-15-2006, 03:17 AM
Originally Posted by Tayyaba
How is the doctor covering his mouth, best for the patient? The patient doesn't know whats going on during surgery. The doctors wear its to avoid germs and such from getting to them, no?
No. And there are two important differences.

First the mask on the doctor is as much to avoid GIVING the patient germs as getting them. Surgery requires a sterile environment. Infection during surgery is very likely to kill the patient. There is NO BENEFIT to the client or the court from the muslim lawyer wearing a veil, only a disservice if she can't make herself heard while wearing it.

Second, the wearing of the veil is a religious preference and not a matter of life or death, as is a surgical mask.

Religious people should be allowed their practices so long as it doesn't interfere with the rights of others which this was apparently doing.

Your arguments are reminding me of the case where a woman, I think muslim but I may be wrong, wanted to wear a veil covering her face in a driver's license photo. The photo being intended as a means of identification and the veil hiding it caused a security problem that trumped her religious freedom.

Has the woman not been wearing it before with other clients?
I don't know if she had or hadn't.

Why the fuss with one now?
Apparently it became an issue in the court room.

If the client can't hear her, he/she can get another one.
Are you saying the lawyer can get another client or the client can get another laywer? Both are true, and I would be against her being forced to stay on representing the client if she wanted to be replaced. I wouldn't support forcing her to represent the client and thus wear the veil. But if she's in the courtroom and unable to represent her client with the veil, then either the veil must go, or she must go.
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