Ginnnah Muhammad of Detroit was looking for her day in court.
Instead, she said she felt as if a judge forced her to choose between her case and her religion in a small-claims dispute in Hamtramck District Court.
A devout Muslim, she wore a niqab -- a scarf and veil to cover her face and head except for her eyes -- Oct. 11 as she contested a rental car company's charging her $2,750 to repair a vehicle after thieves broke into it.
Judge Paul Paruk said he needed to see her face to judge her truthfulness and gave Muhammad, 42, a choice: take off the veil when testifying or the case would be dismissed. She kept the veil on.....Paruk said he offered to let Muhammad, who was born in the United States and converted to Islam at the age of 10, wear the veil during the proceedings except when she testified. He said this was the first time someone had come before his court wearing a niqab, and he noted that many Muslims do not consider it a religious symbol.
Paruk said that as a fact finder, he needs to see the face of a person testifying.