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EVENT: How Terrorism Impacts Women

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February 27, 2009

ACLU President Susan Herman will give the keynote address at a symposium on the impact of terrorism on the lives of women on March 6 at the Rutgers Center for Law and Criminal Justice.

One such issue Herman will address is the backlash against Muslim women in the wake of 9/11. As ACLU Women’s Rights Project staff attorney Ariela Migdal recently wrote:

While Muslim men have been vilified and targeted as terrorists in the current national security frenzy, Muslim women who wear religious headcoverings face unique exposure to prejudice because of their visibility. Their outward self-identification makes them vulnerable to both anti-Muslim bias and gender-based discrimination.

The ACLU confronted this problem in Medina v. San Bernadino County, a case involving a woman who was forced to remove her hijab while detained in a county jail for a day. We also joined an amicus brief on behalf of Muslim women police officers who were forced to remove their hijab on the job. And the ACLU of Georgia has expressed concern over an incident involving Lisa Valentine, a Muslim woman who was jailed for contempt of court after she refused to remove her hijab upon entering a courthouse in Douglasville, Ga.

The March 6 symposium will feature speakers from Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights and Yale and Seton Hall Universities. More event details, including the full schedule, are here.

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