Muslim woman becomes 1st headscarf-wearing judge in US

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Nadia Kahf holds her gavel after being appointed as a judge, in Passaic County Superior Court, New Jersey, U.S., March 23, 2023. (Twitter Photo)

Attorney Nadia Kahf became the first headscarf-wearing judge in the U.S. after being appointed to the superior court in New Jersey.

Kahf, a Syrian-origin family law and immigration attorney from the township of Wayne, took the oath of office on Thursday with her hand on a copy of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, according to local news website North Jersey.

She will serve as a Passaic County Superior Court judge after New Jersey’s Gov. Phil Murphy nominated her a year ago, according to local media.

Though Kahf is not the first Muslim woman to serve as a state judge, she is the first to wear a hijab on the bench.

Since 2003, she has sat on the board of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights organization where Kahf now serves as chairwoman.

She is also the legal adviser to Wafa House, a nonprofit domestic violence and social services agency based in the city of Clifton, and chairwoman of the Islamic Center of Passaic County.


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