On Tuesday, December 16, a Muslim woman was jailed in Douglasville, GA for refusing to remove her hijab (head scarf) upon entering the courtroom. The wearing of a hijab is a common practice among Muslim women, and removing it would be to violate decency, according to many. Municipal Court Judge Keith Rollins ordered Lisa Valentine, 40, to be handcuffed and jailed for ten days.
The case has garnered national and international attention, including articles on MSNBC, ABC News, The Huffington Post, Salon.com, The Guardian (United Kingdom), The Taiwan News (Taiwan), and The Canadian Press. In response to this incident of religious discrimination, a group of Candler students decided to hold a small peaceful protest outside the Municipal Court. Locally, Fox 5 News in Atlanta covered the protest by Candler students, among them Kim Jackson, Joshua Case, Cindy Brown, Trina Jackson, Karl Kroger and recent graduate Lynn Hopkins. The students felt that the violation of the religious rights of this Muslim woman was an affront to the religious rights of all. As Atlanta native Martin Luther King, Jr., eloquently stated “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”