Denmark: First veiled judge (to be)

Sabba Mirza (25) studies law and works as an apprentice for the Danish Court Administration. In a couple of years she'll look for her first job as a deputy judge, which is a judge in training.

She has just one goal - to be a judge, and only with a headscarf.

Mirza says that her headscarf is part of her chosen lifestyle, and that it's more important than her career. If she can't get a job in Denmark, she'll move to a country where people are more informed and can overlook the headscarf.

While the discussion about headscarf in court is ongoing, Mirza doesn't see the problem. If she becomes a judge, it's because she's qualified for it, or she would never get that far.

To those who think that she can't separate her training and her faith she says that if she's employed then it's because her qualifications have been considered and people think that she can judge based on the constitution. More than that, she doesn't have the possibility to judge from anything other than what it says in the law. She adds that her being a Muslim will in no way color her.

The Danish People's Party (DPP) fears that a Muslim judge will have hidden considerations and will implement Sharia law in the Danish court. But purely legally that can't happen. If she did so, she would be discovered. She could never even dream to do so. She studies Danish law because that's what interests her, and she will of course always judge according to Danish laws.

What would she think if she was a suspect and judged by a judge wearing a large cross? She would think that this person got the job because he was qualified. In the past Americans discussed whether blacks can judge. Later if women can judge, or if they were too "emotional". Now we're discussing whether people with a headscarf can judge neutrally. She thinks that it's the same discussion as before, but now it's about Muslim women.

Regarding the DPP campaign against headscarves in Danish society, she think it's curious that people jump on that, and asks if they will do so when the DPP will say that all Muslims should be gassed. Muslim women are not a threat, and will enrich society. They thinks it's hypocritical to say that Muslim women just stay at home with their children while preventing them at the same time from getting an education because they can't wear a headscarf. She says a ban against headscarves will create bigger integration problems in Denmark.

She says many of her friends get an education that can be used abroad. They do so because of the risk that they won't be able to get a job if they choose to wear a headscarf. She says that a headscarf ban will prevent integration in Denmark. The rolemodels with resources will disappear and only the resource-poor will stay.

She says that if her daughter would choose to go with a headscarf and that would mean that her job opportunities would be limited, it would be natural to move to another country.

She says she wears a headscarf for good reasons and will not take it off again. When she had children she got to the point where she wanted to emphasize other things. She wanted to signal that clothing and fashion were no longer the most important, and that she thought love, honesty and being a mother were more important. Besides, she says, it's so much easier in the mornings when she doesn't have to think about clothing and hair.

Source: Nyhedsavisn (Danish), h/t Danmark (Danish)

See also: Denmark: Renewed debate about hijab


FreeSpeech said...

With this reasoning, some other person could insist on being a naked judge.

Anonymous said...

LOL@ freespeech...TURE!

Graham Weeks said...

Thank God British judges have to wear wigs. It shows they are there as holders of an office, not as private persons. Her headscarf is a personal statement of religion, a refusal to conform to the norms of a host country.

Anonymous said...

>If she can't get a job in Denmark, she'll move to a country where people are more informed and can overlook the headscarf.<

Pakistan or Iran may be suitable.


Johanna, Germany

Graham Weeks said...

She could try the northern states of Nigeria :-(

Anonymous said...

agreed... Move back to one of the 12 -15 Muslim country... which is so much more enlighted. Where you as a 25 yrd female you could sit on a judical bench. Ha!

San Francisco, CA, USA

Anonymous said...

That will be a judge in a court of law wearing the veil which is prescribed by sharia law.