UK’s hijab-wearing Queen’s Counsel eyes setting an example


Sultana Tafadar, the United Kingdom’s first hijab-wearing felony barrister, who additionally was the primary hijab-wearer from the Felony Bar to be appointed Queen’s Counsel, objectives to set an example for ladies on pursuing their goals and achieving targets.

Tafadar, who reached the absolute best mark of excellence a legal professional can hang in the United Kingdom, shared her luck tale with Anadolu Company.

As a human rights, world legislation and felony justice barrister that specialize in counterterrorism and nationwide safety circumstances, Tafadar is the center daughter of immigrants who moved to the United Kingdom from Bangladesh.

There are lately simply two hijab-wearing Queen’s Counsels in Britain: Shaheed Fatima, a public legislation barrister, who was once appointed in 2016, and felony barrister Tafadar, who was once appointed on March 21 this 12 months.

“Without a doubt, maximum folks face demanding situations at paintings. Ladies have a tendency to stand sure demanding situations, ladies from minority backgrounds face demanding situations, and ladies who’re visibly Muslim or dressed in a hijab have a tendency to stand sure demanding situations,” Tafadar stated.

Learn Extra: Hijab: probably the most misunderstood piece of material

Tafadar, who was once known as to the Felony Bar in 2005, was once born and raised in Bedfordshire, the place she attended an area state faculty.

Lower than 2% of legal professionals in Britain turn into Queen’s Counsel, maximum training as barristers or advocates in Scotland.

In the meantime, turning into a Queen’s Counsel is a difficult procedure in the United Kingdom because the legal professionals typically wish to have no less than 15 years of revel in for the applying. They make an software to be thought to be, supplying 12 key circumstances within the ultimate 3 years, with 12 judges, 12 barristers and 12 solicitors as referees.

There are 1,928 Queen’s Counsels in Britain – lower than 2% of all the felony career.

‘No longer an simple adventure’

“It wasn’t an simple adventure. And that’s the reason why I am completely overjoyed to be on this place. It is a very lengthy procedure. It is a tricky adventure,” stated Tafadar, regarding her luck trail.

She underlined that if taking a look on the selection of ladies who’ve ever been appointed Queen’s Counsel, the numbers “don’t seem to be that enormous.”

“So handiest about 575 ladies have ever been appointed Queen’s Counsel. In case you have a look at folks from minority Black or ethnic minority backgrounds, at the present time, there may be about 34 ladies which were appointed. And in the case of ladies that put on the hijab, there may be simply two folks. And I am the primary one on the felony bar,” she stated.

Noting that attaining the prime mark of excellence was once rather a “lengthy and tough procedure,” she stressed out that “the chances don’t seem to be all the time in our choose.”

“And it is each legal professional’s dream to turn into Queen’s Counsel,” she added.

Tafadar stated when she simply began off, she was once the one particular person on the felony bar dressed in the hijab.

“I used to visit court docket. And numerous the time, the courts would cross very silent, they usually were not rather positive who I used to be and what I used to be doing there. They might ask if I used to be the defendant. More often than not, they would ask if I used to be the interpreter,” she stated.

“And so you might have the ones hurdles to triumph over, the place folks make assumptions about who you’re. They make assumptions about your talent, and so it does take time to wreck the ones assumptions down. So the ones are the forms of demanding situations I have confronted right through my occupation, Tafadar added.


France’s ban on advocates dressed in hijab

Talking on France’s ban ultimate month on advocates dressed in the hijab, Tafadar stated “the irony is simply rather unhappy.”

On March 2, France’s absolute best court docket upheld a ban on advocates dressed in the hijab and different non secular symbols in courtrooms in Lille, northern France. The landmark ruling units a precedent for the remainder of the rustic.

Tafadar recalled that through being appointed Queen’s Counsel, “which is successfully announcing I am within the best 2% of the felony career,” she has completed a “superb process” right through her occupation.

“I wore my hijab at my appointment to this place. Different legal professionals put on wigs, however I’m exempt from dressed in them. And it is unhappy as a result of simply around the (English) Channel, you might have a complete other state of affairs the place legal professionals don’t seem to be allowed to visit court docket dressed in the hijab, ladies don’t seem to be allowed to understand their capability and their complete attainable,” she stated.

“They don’t seem to be allowed to. And it is not simply in court docket, however in all spheres of lifestyles. They are no longer allowed to interact in sports activities, they are no longer allowed to interact in public lifestyles in professions. And this in reality quantities to discriminatory practices. This discrimination at the foundation of gender is discrimination at the foundation of race is discrimination at the foundation of faith. And this may be a denial of the liberty of expression,” she famous.

She highlighted that there are more than one rights which might be being violated on this case.

“It’s kind of unhappy for me to be right here, I suppose, celebrating and taking part in my success however understanding that folks around the Channel can not revel in the similar forms of alternatives that I have loved.”


Submissions to UN

Tafadar stated they’re making submissions to the UN to spotlight the truth that “France has those regulations and insurance policies in position, and we wish to see what may also be completed on the world stage.”

She stated “tackling carrying our bodies” is some other space she needs to boost consciousness about.

“Wearing our bodies have a duty to make certain that everyone has an alternative to take part, whether or not it is the International Cup, whether or not it is the Olympics, and France is website hosting the Olympics very quickly,” she stated.

Noting that the Olympics is meant to constitute “tolerance and the approaching in combination of various cultures,” Tafadar stated “it does not make sense to refuse to permit ladies representing a unique religion within the nations website hosting the Olympics to take part within the video games.”

She wondered how can it’s the case that France is permitted to host those video games after they exclude folks from taking part and after they “act opposite to what the values and the beliefs of the Olympic Video games are.”

“I suppose what I wish to say to ladies who face all of those demanding situations for being a girl, for being from a minority background, from being visibly training our religion, that there can be demanding situations that you are going to definitely face,” she stated.

Tafadar stated you will need to persist and no longer surrender, and “those hurdles can turn into hurdles that may come down.”

“And I am hoping be an example. The truth that I have controlled to reach this displays that it may be completed. We might see issues as being not possible, however it is not out of our succeed in. Sadly, there are buildings in position that save you us from attaining that complete attainable, however it is as much as us to stay going and to dismantle the buildings in order that we will be able to succeed in our targets.”

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