A Call to Action for Women of All Beliefs

Lisa Valentine's arrest on Tuesday is yet another example of the discrimination that Muslim women who wear hijab (headscarves) face on a daily basis. Valentine was told that she could not enter the courthouse in Douglasville, Georgia, unless she removed her hijab, and was jailed for contempt of court when she refused to do so. "I just felt stripped of my civil, my human rights," the AP reported Valentine saying. The ACLU of Georgia has expressed grave concern over policies that deny court access to Muslim women and followers of other faiths who wear religious headgear.

Muslim women and girls have been prohibited from wearing their headcoverings in a number of contexts. They have been fired from jobs, thrown off school sports teams, denied access to public places, and otherwise discriminated against because they wear hijab.

This isn't just a Muslim issue. This is also a women's rights and a human rights issue, because when Muslim women are denied the right to wear hijab, it's a statement that they are not free to choose how to express their beliefs. In a moving video we've just released, ACLU client, Jameelah Medina, spoke about her experience of being forced to remove her hijab in jail in San Bernardino County, California, and how it ignited her activism:

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"How many times have we experienced discrimination or hate because we're a woman, because we're a Muslim woman…? But we don't speak up, we just accept it, and we say, 'Someone else will do it; someone else will stand up and they'll make a difference, then I'll join that fight.' …I look forward to working with and… inspiring other women: whatever the issue is in your communities, that you stand up and say, 'I'm going to be the one.'"

Jameelah gave this inspiring speech at a conference sponsored in November by the ACLU Human Rights Program entitled, "Keeping Your Faith in Post 9/11 America: Religious and Ethnic Discrimination and Human Rights," where advocates and members of the Muslim community gathered to discuss the various rights violations that Muslims have faced in recent years. Jameelah also blogged recently on Feministing about what wearing hijab means to her and why being forced to remove it was such a violation of her rights as a woman, generating quite a lively discussion.

To learn more about Muslim women's rights and other hijab cases the ACLU has handled, check out www.aclu.org/muslimwomen.

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Juono123

F this ARAB and the ACLU. ACLU complains about these terrosist having their rights violated while detained or descriminated, but what about the Americans who are beheaded by these same criminals? These same DESERT jockeys are killing American soldiers with no regard to their safety. Again, FU ACLU!!!

Big D.

This is a comment.

Steve UK

Makes my blood boil because we have this cultral marxist mindset ruining our country also and that is their goal and they will come to know our wrath civil liberty groups are no longer fit for porpos other than to fracture white christian heritage at the behest of their judaised sponsor!!!!!!!!!!

Koran

If we don't do something about it in 20 years USA will be a muslim country. No more boose, girls, bars, TV just the Koran and hope that if we blew ourself up in a middle of the crowd we get our 72 hors in the heaven. Fuck them !!!

Arkansasan

Wow. What hate! If Jesus were here he would certainly have harsh words for quite a few of you! The USA was founded on religious freedom. That freedom is for all religion or none at all. As for this woman, there was no need for a man to be there and he should have been excluded the same as if she were being strip searched.

As for you haters and fear mongers, get some education and understanding of the world. Your ignorance is showing and it is embarrassing to us real Americans!

Someone

Guys ... please chill out!! Internet fights are pretty pointless they never end... Why? because people get ignorant on the internet and.. arguing with an ignorant person no matter which side he is on its pointless! (opps I bet I commited that mistake)

Really?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This is very obviously a 1st Amendment issue that is why I included it. Everyone here has the right to say the hateful thing that have been said, but when you get down to what is truly American, the guide that we use is the Constitution. This woman has every right to wear her hijab. She should be sworn to testify on the Koran. And the 10 Commandments have no place in our courtrooms. This is America. I know that some people don't know but we are NOT a christian nation. I hope that all of these hateful people go and get out their Bible and see what Jesus says about hate. What I remember from Sunday School is that he wasn't a fan of it.

Truth Hurtz

Funny how all these so called self imposed liberal nazi do-gooders who seem to have all the answers on how us "Americans" should live our lives, what we drive, what we eat are also the same clowns who tell everyone else how we should "Not judge other religions" and "Be nice to everyone" etc, etc? Now who's being the "Fascists"? Now granted these were the same angry losers and nomads in high school but notice how the ACLU is always coming after Christians and trying to denounce Western culture and religions? There is a book that America needs to wake up and read called "The Secret Jihad" on how terrorists and Arabs are using dirtbags like the ACLU and dumb liberals to manipulate their own causes to take over Western Culture by the use of PC tactics...guess what? It's working and every fart sniffing liberal commie who thinks now they are America's do gooder "P.C. Police" are ruining this country and ironically taking away their own rights as well as yours but they are actually too stupid to realize their own hypocracy. Don't say you haven't been warned, oh wait a minute you'll be deemed a racist and a hate monger if you speak out against Obama and the ACLU now...how ironic?

Reason

I love it when people come on this website and troll non sensense and hate, it always get's my blood warm and wakes me up in the morning for a nice intellectual, or lack thereof, debate! What people need are a healthy dose of statistics to put in context the risk and consequence of muslims, terrorists, and all of the other fear mongering subjects our government uses to justify the oppression of the majority of the world, either economic, political, or militaristic. Don't you people get it, there aren't liberals and conservatives, or americans and immigrants, or any other devisive characteristics, there are only rich and poor, PERIOD. All of these arguments are pretexts for dividing the masses into controllable compartments to further the objectives of less than 1% of the worlds elite. Who do you really have to fear? Terrorists or CEOs? Look at the data over the last half century and you will see which one has had the most impact on America and its ideals.

dumasses

u americans r sooooo idiot n dumasses cuz u white folks aint no sometin bout been muslim. so i think u better shut ur mouth up n go to hell for d rest of ur life. wat do u say, u deserve it. everyone dats messin wit muslims n blacks can kiss ma ass cuz dats wat u white, ugly, ediot, dumass, and asshole americans r always n mostly racist to. u americans r sooo weak u dont got no strenght. so go n find other ugly asshole white folks like u guys to mess round wit, aight.

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