Whenever Islamic law and American law conflict, it is American law that must give way. That’s the Islamic supremacist imperative. Does it matter that this means that Amina Farah Ali rejects the authority of the Infidel court? Not in the least.
A Rochester, Minn., woman who refused to stand when a judge entered the courtroom during her trial last year may have had a religious right to keep her seat, a federal appeals court has ruled.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a ruling Monday, June 4, threw out 19 of 20 contempt citations that Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis had levied against Amina Farah Ali because she wouldn’t rise when court was called to order.
On the first day of her trial on charges of raising money for the terrorist group al-Shabaab, Ali ignored Davis’ order to rise, telling him she interpreted Islamic teachings to mean she didn’t have to stand for anybody.
The judge disagreed, saying that rising was a show of respect to the legal process and that court decorum demanded she stand.
But the appeals court said Ali’s refusal “was rooted in her sincerely held religious beliefs,” and that Davis was wrong not to consider those before he found her in contempt and sentenced her to 100 days in jail.
The court said Davis’ ultimatum to Ali — violate your religious beliefs or face criminal penalties — “substantially burdens the free exercise of religion.”
Davis should have considered Ali’s rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, a three-judge panel of the court said. The panel told Davis to reconsider his actions and “reach a balance between maintaining order and avoiding unnecessary and substantial burdens on sincere religious practices.”
Ali, 35, and co-defendant Hawo Mohamed Hassan, 65, also of Rochester, were convicted last fall of conspiring to raise money for al-Shabaab, a group fighting Somalia’s U.N.-backed government. They are awaiting sentencing while in a St. Paul halfway house.
Ali caused a stir on the trial’s first day in October when she refused to stand when the judge entered the courtroom. Three days earlier, after being told that Ali had remained seated at the start of a pre-trial hearing, Davis had issued an order requiring everyone to stand when court was called to order.
The woman told Davis that the Prophet Muhammad once told a group of followers they didn’t have to honor him by standing. She said that if she didn’t have to rise for the founder of her religion, she didn’t have to rise for anybody….