( 4UMF NEWS ) Muslim Judge Sworn In On Koran:
A routine municipal ceremony has become seeped in controversy after a Brooklyn Civil Court judge was sworn in using a Koran.
Carolyn Walker-Diallo, who was elected last month in Brooklyn’s 7th Municipal District, took her oath of office Thursday using the holy book of Islam as a testament to her Muslim faith.
The swearing-in session went off without a hitch, but after attendees posted video of the ceremony to social media, the backlash became so severe that some of Walker-Diallo’s supporters became concerned for her safety.
“Sickening,” one Facebook user posted in response to the video. “Is this America or the Middle East.”
“Another piece of s— Muslim,” another user wrote, “trying to take over this country.”
Walker-Diallo did not return calls for comment.
On her campaign page, she makes reference to her faith.
“All is praise (sic) is indeed due to the Most High!” she said in a post thanking her supporters. “I am humbled that my community has entrusted me with the immense responsibility of ensuring that EVERYONE has notice and a FAIR opportunity to be heard in the halls of justice.”
Since the dawn of the nation, elected officials have been taking oaths of office. Under the U.S. Constitution, a candidate for office must “swear or affirm” an oath.
“Affirming” was for the benefit of people who have a religious objection to invoking God in an oath.
There is no requirement that an officeholder swear on a specific religious text, or any text at all.
Walker-Diallo is not the first Muslim judge to serve in the state. In 2013, Sheila Abdus-Salaam became the first black woman and first Muslim to sit on the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest judicial body. Walker-Diallo is also not the first officeholder to be sworn in on the Koran: In 2006, Minnesota Rep. U.S. Keith Ellison did so.
Backlash over Walker-Diallo’s oath of office comes amid Donald Trump’s proposal to close America’s doors to Muslim immigrants in the wake of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., carried out by jihadi terrorists. The debate over Trump’s proposal has stirred up anti-Muslim sentiment across the country.
“It’s really horrific what’s happening,” said Sadyia Khalique, director of operations for the New York chapter of the Council on American–Islamic Relations. “This is a proud moment for her, and to have this much criticism is just really sad. In our society, there is so much hate.”
Khalique pointed out that some of the recent backlash has been aimed at Muslim women. Last month, two Muslim women, wearing Islamic head scarfs were accosted in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, by a man as one of them pushed a stroller with a baby. The man threatened to “blow up your temple,” and spit on the women before he walked off.
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