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Hijab Lawsuit Tossed

(CN) - A federal judge in Detroit on Thursday tossed a lawsuit against a Wayne County Circuit Court judge accused of trampling a Muslim woman's religious freedoms by ordering her to take off her hijab, or headscarf, in his courtroom.

U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani cited court transcripts that she said shows that Raneen Albaghdady never protested to Judge William Callahan's request to remove her headcover last summer in his courtroom, and that she quickly complied.

"Albaghdady never protested removal of her head piece, she never informed [the judge] that her 'hat' was a hijab, and most critically, when asked to remove it, said, 'Okay. It doesn't matter.'

"She removed her hijab without hesitation. Her comment and conduct undermine her ability to meet plaintiff's burden to show an injury in fact," Callahan wrote.

Albaghdady and the Council on American-Islamic Relations sued after the incident, and sought a declaration that the "customary practice of ... Callahan in requiring Muslim women to remove their hijab violated" Albaghdady's "fundamental right to freely practice her religion."

But Battani said Callahan, who doesn't allow hats in his courtroom, would have allowed the woman to wear her hijab had he known it had religious significance.

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