A Canadian judge for the first time ruled that a Muslim woman could not wear a niqab in giving testimony concerning a sexual assault case since it violated the right of a defendant to face his accuser. The case pitted issues of religious freedom vs. against the rights of a defendant. The lawyer for the Muslim woman argued a sexual assault trial was traumatic and she had a right to feel comfortable which meant she had the right to wear her niqab. He noted, a court should “respect religious rights and practices that bring comfort to a witness.” She emphasized that showing her face to a man she would not marry made her feel uncomfortable.
The judge discovered the woman had a driver’s license in which she is not wearing a veil. it is difficult to forbid a person charged with sexual assault from not being able to see the face of the accuser. He also has rights to a fair trial and not allowing her face to be shown impairs his rights. If the woman was willing to show her face on a driver’s license it is difficult for her not to show it in a court of law.