UK judge orders Muslim woman to remove her burqa

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A UK judge has banned a Muslim woman from wearing a burqa while appearing in court and ordered her to show her face in order to rule out the possibility of another person pretending to be her and giving evidence on her behalf.

Judge Peter Murphy told the 21-year-old Muslim female defendant, who is facing charges of intimidating a witness, the principle of open justice superseded her religious beliefs, The Guardian newspaper reported.

"While I obviously respect the right to dress in any way she wishes, certainly while outside the court, the interests of justice are paramount. I can't, as a circuit judge, accept a plea from a person whose identity I am unable to ascertain,” the judge said.

"It would be easy for someone on a later occasion to appear and claim to be the defendant. The court would have no way to check on that," he added.

Claire Burtwistle, the unnamed woman's barrister, told the court the woman could not show her face while men were present in the court and suggested a female police officer could verify her identity in advance of her giving evidence.

"I am not saying this because of the particular form of dress by this defendant, I apply that to any form of dress that had the same issues," the judge claimed before the case was adjourned until September 12.

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Posted by: Joh

All types of dresses must be respected, not doubt. The question here is security and all that the authorities are asking is to keep the face exposed. I am sure it is in the saftely interest of all who dont realize the danger if a wrong person sneaks in with face covered.

Posted by: Muslim & Proud

The requirement to cover your face is not something under Sharia (Islamic Law). It is a cultural issue. The requirement to cover woman's hair however is. End of Argument.

Posted by: Indian Muslim

@ Indian , We are Muslims no matter Where Ever we may go, we don?t change our religion or identity like we change clothes or friends. We don?t change our religious ethics, moral or etiquettes by Place or Time or Individual. Once a Muslims, Always a Muslim.
For us our Religion is more dearer than our life, It is our Soul. It is something that sets us apart from others.
For others its a past time and time pass.

Posted by: Another Indian Muslim

I vouch for Doug & Kate.

It is incontrovertible that the West is by far & comparatively the most tolerant society and they've been like that for quite some time now. Thanks to rational thinking and belief in equality and fraternity. The good news I see is that UAE is definitely catching up with this, with the Churches and Temples around town...a happy scene to see. It is certain hyprocrites who think they are clear in the head who are actually screwed up. Example: Let this Indian Muslim #1 have her loved one killed (God Forbid) and the defendant comes in with the Burqa...she'd be the first person to ask her to remove it to reveal identity.

I think its time for us all to learn to love and respect others and not use our religious belief as a tool to divide the world.

Peace for ALL who read this.

Posted by: Doug

Actually, Muslim Indian, you'll see I was very, very careful not to accuse her of being guilty.

What you may not understand is that in a trial system, defendants are usually only brought to court when the Crown Prosecution Service feels there is sufficient evidence to successfully secure a conviction. Therefore, while she is indeed innocent until proven guilty, we do have to remember that in a case such as 'intimidating a witness', this is often a case of one person's word against another. Therefore for such a case to be brought to court, there must be quite a bit of evidence against this woman. Secondly, if she is facing such a charge, clearly she has some connection to ANOTHER criminal case.

She is indeed innocent until proven guilty. But there is obviously enough evidence to warrant a prosecution, and so she should therefore fully face a judge to either clear her name or receive the deserved punishment.

Posted by: Muslim Indian

@ Doug, Seems like you have not read the article clearly or your prejudice has taken the better of you.
The article clearly says - Judge Peter Murphy told the 21-year-old Muslim female defendant, who is facing charges of intimidating a witness.
The woman is facing charges and has not been convicted or proven guilty till date. Her so called crime of Intimidating a witness has not been established as yet.
You are Innnocent untill proven guilty Right.
Give her the benefit of doubt until such time.
Save your limbs mate.
Dont be in haste to judge others remember that you will be judged one day soon and you will have to come on your limbs.


Posted by: Doug

Given that this woman is currently on trial for committing a crime (a fact that seems to be conveniently forgotten), I would go out on a limb and say that for this woman, her religion is rather less important to her than you might think. If her religion was important to her, she wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

Posted by: Woman

Dressing is ones individual choice and should not be imposed. Similarly no individual or state should dictate what to wear if it doesn?t fall in the category of obscenity. If they say that no religious dress code should be followed in public. Then let them ban the nuns & church heads from wearing church atire.let them ban the sikhs from wearing turbans. Let them ban the women & men from wearing long outer coats in winter.

Inspite of burkha being Muslim attire. Ask any respectable woman of any faith whether she would like to be ogled with lust or seen with respect. Than you will know the wisdom behind why Muslim women cover-up.
No man or woman.With an atom worth of pride would allow his/her daughter, sister or their women to be depicted immorally in public or private. We won?t be surprised if the so called liberated countries decide to ban the bikini also as it is also covering some part of a woman?s shame.

Posted by: SAM

Funny how people reach conclusions. Nowhere in the article did it mention that this woman was from the Middle East. For all we know she is a white Anglo-Saxon. At any rate, how often do we see moslems in Europe with their face fully covered and appearing in court? This was the first time I heard of it, which means this is not universal, which means it is an isolated incident, which means get a life; your culture is still safe under the watchful eyes of the defenders of the realm.

Posted by: Rick

... It clearly says that it was a Muslim woman in the title and also in the opening sentence.

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