I believe that life requires some rules. Without rules and law, there would be chaos in society. But sometimes it seems that rules are made or enforced without much true purpose behind them. That seems to be what has happened in this case.
In a Douglasville, Georgia courtroom, a judge has ordered a Muslim woman arrested because she would not remove her head scarf (or hajib). The woman was accompanying her nephew to a traffic citation hearing, when a security guard stopped her and told her she must remove the scarf to enter the courtroom. She tried to explain that wearing it was a part of her religion, but the guard was having none of it.
She turned to leave and uttered an expletive. The guard must have been having a bad day, because he handcuffed her even though she was no longer trying to enter the courtroom. He then took her before the judge, and the judge had her jailed for violating the rule about no hats in the courtroom.
Now this whole situation seems ridiculous to me. I can think of two reasons for the "no hats" rule. It is considered respectful to remove your hat in a courtroom (or anywhere indoors), and it could be for security reasons (which I doubt). A guard (preferrably female) could have felt the scarf quickly to determine no weapons were hidden there. As for the respect issue, is it not even more disrespectful to force someone to violate their religious beliefs?
I am not a religious person, but religious beliefs are very important to most Americans and I believe they should be respected whenever possible. Personally, I have to wonder if this woman's beliefs were not honored because she was muslim. If it had been a christian belief, would the rule have been enforced (or would it even exist)?
Laws and rules are important, but they do not constitute justice unless they are tempered with reason and compassion. Rules should never be enforced just because they exist.