An Italian judge of the Regional Administrative Court (TAR) of Emilia Romagna, demanded today a young lawyer of Moroccan origin to shed the veil that covered her head to participate in a public hearing.

In front of the demand of the president of the second section of the TAR, Giancarlo Mozzarelli, based on the obligation to respect the culture and traditions of the country, Asmae Belfakir decided to leave the place, arguing that the courtroom should be a secular space subject to the laws and not to other considerations.

The 25-year-old woman, who arrived in Italy three months after her birth, graduated with honors in Law and Religion from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, where she has been working since October and has participated in a dozen conferences abroad.

“It had never happened to me.” the young professional told La Repubblica newspaper, “I have attended dozens of hearings, including on the TAR, and nobody had ever asked me to remove my veil, not even at the Council of State.” and added that the problem is not security because her face is uncovered and therefore it is perfectly identifiable.´´

In addition to the claim that will be filed against the judge’s decision, the source indicates, Belfakir decided to launch a cultural campaign so that women like her do not have to trip over these obstacles on a daily basis because if they are already strenuous on the street, they are not permissible either in courtrooms.

The head of the legal study where the lawyer works, Lorenzo Canullo, reported that he held a telephone conversation with the president of the TAR, who assured him that the young woman will be able to continue participating in the hearings with her head covered by the veil, respecting her religious faith.