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  1. #1
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    I'd rather kill myself than remove veil, woman tells court

    A Muslim woman has told a court she would rather kill herself than give evidence without wearing a veil.

    Fouzya Salim was questioned for an hour and a half today at the Auckland District Court on why she should be allowed to continue wearing the veil when she gives evidence in an insurance fraud case.

    Judge Lindsay Moore has agreed to permit the veil during today's hearing before deciding whether to allow it when he hears the case.

    Defence lawyer Colin Amery does not want Mrs Salim or Feraiba Razamjoo - the sister of his client - to wear veils when they give evidence against Abdul Razamjoo.

    The women wear burqas whenever they are outside the home, but Mr Amery said the court could not assess the women's demeanour as they gave evidence if their faces were covered.

    But Mrs Salim today told the court: "I would rather kill myself than uncover my face and sit here."

    She said it would be too embarrassing to appear in public with her face uncovered. She also expressed discomfort at being in the same room as the defendant.

    Her husband yesterday said that the wearing of veils was a part of Muslim culture. "It's our tradition, our religion, our culture. We have to respect and try to protect it," Mr Salim said.

    His wife, who was born in Afghanistan, always wore her burqa in public. She would consider venturing out without it only in an extreme emergency.

    She did not cover her face inside the home, but none of Mr Salim's male friends or extended family were allowed to see her. When visitors came, men and women sat in different rooms.


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  2. #2
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    Someone hand her a gun!

    This is the kind of crap that really pisses me off (Excuse the language.)
    They are in OUR country now! They should go by our laws! No exceptions. Just like the woman in Florida who wanted her face covered in her drivers licence. BS!

    I could go on with this but it makes me extremely angry. If we were in their country, depending on the area, we would have to cover our faces. That's THEIR law. Only, we wouldn't have the right to go to court and argue against it. We'd just be killed . End of story.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeBee
    Someone hand her a gun!

    This is the kind of crap that really pisses me off (Excuse the language.)
    They are in OUR country now! They should go by our laws! No exceptions. Just like the woman in Florida who wanted her face covered in her drivers licence. BS!

    I could go on with this but it makes me extremely angry. If we were in their country, depending on the area, we would have to cover our faces. That's THEIR law. Only, we wouldn't have the right to go to court and argue against it. We'd just be killed . End of story.
    They are in New Zealand, but let's for the sake of argument place them in the US:

    If they were islamic US citizens would you still be against them wearing the Burqa? What about the free exercise clause in the first amendment?

    I can understand the need to remove the veil for a photo id because of security implications, but what need is there to remove the burqa in a court of law when giving testimony?

    If you were in former Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, you wouldn't be able to question the law about wearing burqas, but then, isn't that what differentiates the US from Afghanistan? The idea that you can question it. The idea of tolerance. You want someone to hand her a gun. How far removed from Afghanistan would that make the US?

  4. #4
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    Who's going to determine if the veiled person giving testimony is even her? Maybe since she is threatening to kill herself if she doesn't get her way she should be considered a danger to herself and to others in the court. When people do that in the United States they can be taken to a hospital to have their mental status evaluated.

  5. #5
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    It comes down to keeping ALL religion out of everything. What if a female student wanted to wear one to school? That would be a problem. If a teacher or student can be forced to remove a cross from thier lapel, then surely one couldnt be allowed to wear a burqa in a public school. In this case, as the court pointed out, the lady's demeanor could not be witnessed if her face were to be covered. In a trial, often times demeanor of a witness is important.

  6. #6
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    I would rather kill myself than remove my veil to testify?

    OK, remove the veil. No one else gets to cover up to avoid the jury seeing their demeanor. So be it.
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    Disclaimer: I have a JD, but I am not licensed to practice. Therefore, do not interpret anything contained in my posts as legal advice - they are my personal opinion only.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziggy
    I would rather kill myself than remove my veil to testify?

    OK, remove the veil. No one else gets to cover up to avoid the jury seeing their demeanor. So be it.
    Then we should also force burn victims to remove their facial prosthesis when testifying. I think most would agree this could be cruel and humiliating to them.

  8. #8
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    poco is offline A cat will blink when struck with a hammer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeBee
    Someone hand her a gun!
    There ya go!

    So often times it happens that we live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key. ...Eagles, "Already Gone"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by poco
    There ya go!
    I take it you were being sarcastic given your sig: "prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

  10. #10
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    If a case like this comes before the courts in the US (I'm thinking of the Florida case, where the woman wouldn't remove veil for the DMV photo....) I'm thinking this would be a something that should go before the supreme court.

    Something similar with girls wearing headscarves in French schools caused a big outrage. I can't remember the complete details.


  11. #11
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    Tell her to go ahead and do it then. Sick of the DRAMA!!!!

    If this woman wants the rights afforded to her being an American citizen, then she's got to follow the RULES set up for American citizens. I'm sick and tired of America always having to bend over and take it up the rear to defend the rights of everyone else. It appears to me that she's one of the plaintiffs in this matter before the court. If she's demanding all of the rights she's entitled to by America's justice, then she's got to follow the rules set by the judge. It says that she was born in Afghanistan. I wonder why they left and came here.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeana (DP)
    Tell her to go ahead and do it then. Sick of the DRAMA!!!!

    If this woman wants the rights afforded to her being an American citizen, then she's got to follow the RULES set up for American citizens. I'm sick and tired of America always having to bend over and take it up the rear to defend the rights of everyone else. It appears to me that she's one of the plaintiffs in this matter before the court. If she's demanding all of the rights she's entitled to by America's justice, then she's got to follow the rules set by the judge. It says that she was born in Afghanistan. I wonder why they left and came here.
    The "rule" in question is the first amendment right afforded to all citizens to free exercise of one's religion. Is this right violated by the court's insistence that she remove her veil? That is open to argument; however, the idea that it interferes with her testimony as it shrouds her demeanor is flawed, as the same argument can be put to others, incl. people with facial prosthesis.

  13. #13
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    Well, here's where I "differ" with that argument.

    A veil covers the face, so that you see NO FACE, just the eyes. The face is hidden behind a piece of cloth.

    A facial prosthesis is there to cover a deformity, and help the individual appear as normal as possible, in public. The prosthesis is there, to PRESENT a face; not to HIDE a normal face, because of a religous belief.

    When it comes to religious "freedoms" there comes a time, when, one has to win out over the other when those beliefs conflict with the needs of a governing body, for the security of all.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprocket
    Well, here's where I "differ" with that argument.

    A veil covers the face, so that you see NO FACE, just the eyes. The face is hidden behind a piece of cloth.

    A facial prosthesis is there to cover a deformity, and help the individual appear as normal as possible, in public. The prosthesis is there, to PRESENT a face; not to HIDE a normal face, because of a religous belief.

    When it comes to religious "freedoms" there comes a time, when, one has to win out over the other when those beliefs conflict with the needs of a governing body, for the security of all.
    The purpose of a prosthesis is beside the point. It is an artificial mask that masks the face, and thus the demeanor of the person giving testimony, and it is for that reason that demeanor shouldn't be used as an argument against wearing a veil, because banning the one would force one to ban the other, which as most would agree, would be disgraceful.

    Everyone can agree with the distinction made, but let me put it this way, how would you phrase the law against the wearing of veils and such in a court of law, without affecting people who legitimately have a reason to cover their face? I would consider a medical reason just as valid as a religious reason.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobi
    The "rule" in question is the first amendment right afforded to all citizens to free exercise of one's religion. Is this right violated by the court's insistence that she remove her veil? That is open to argument; however, the idea that it interferes with her testimony as it shrouds her demeanor is flawed, as the same argument can be put to others, incl. people with facial prosthesis.

    Well, the judge of each specific courtroom makes her or his own decisions on what the rules are. Either she accepts those rules or not. Not open to argument. She brought this lawsuit and if she wants it to go forward, she'll do what the judge tells her to do.

    As for your argument about burn victims, I think that its silly to compare the two. One is a choice and one is not. I can't imagine a judge having a problem with regard to a burn victim keeping a mask on.

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