Muslims in Australia have no religious reason to reject to stand before a judge or to show their faces while giving testimony, according to the Australian National Imams Council, SBS News informs.
The directions come after a string of courtroom incidents where Islamic defendants did not want to stand before judges in court – citing their faith in defense of their actions.
The wife of terrorist recruiter Hamdi Alqudsi, Moutia Elzahed, was the first person in New South Wales who was charged with disrespectful behavior after she rejected to stand before the District Court judge Audrey Balla late in 2016.
She was trying to sue over alleged police violence during a raid on her Revesby home.
Written in collaboration with the Judicial Commission of NSW to establish a better understanding of the Muslim community, an explanatory note released by the Australian National Imams Council said that Muslims have been told there is no prohibition on them standing before a judge or a magistrate.
The ANIC stated that their document namet Explanatory Note on the Judicial Process and Participation of Muslims, “gives practical guidance and explanation to members of the Australian Muslim community of the etiquette and behaviours expected of persons engaging in the judicial processes so that they may act consistently with these without compromising their religious beliefs”.
It also “provides information to judicial officers on Islamic concepts and practices as they relate to matters which may be raised in connection with Muslims participating in the court processes”.
“Standing up for the magistrate or judge is a sign of respect to the court. This sign of respect is also reflected in the teaching of Islam,” the note said.