Rania El-Alloul, kicked out of Quebec court for wearing hijab, fights back

Rania El-Alloul, the Montreal woman who refused to remove her hijab when appearing before Quebec Court Judge Eliana Marengo, has filed a motion asking the court to clarify the rights of Quebecers to access justice while wearing religious attire.

Woman asks court to clarify rules of access for people wearing religious garments

Rania El-Alloul speaks to the media as her lawyer, Julius Grey, looks on at a news conference Friday, March 27 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Rania El-Alloul, the Montreal woman who refused to remove her hijab when appearing before a Quebec Court judge, has filed a motion asking the court to clarify the rights of Quebecers to access justice while wearing religious attire.

In February, Judge Eliana Marengo told El-Alloul she would not hear her case unless she removed her hijab. 

Marengo compared the Muslim headscarf to a "hat and sunglasses."

El-Alloul was in court to try to recover her car, which had been seized by Quebec's automobile insurance board.

Human rights lawyer Julius Grey filed a motion on El-Alloul's behalf.

"This case is a capsule of many of the current issues around freedom of religion," Grey said at a news conference Friday afternoon.

El-Alloul thanked fellow Quebecers and Canadians who have offered support.

"I have every right to appear before any judge, in any courtroom, with my headscarf, just as someone wearing a turban, or kippa, has," El-Alloul said.

Grey said the motion for declaratory judgment essentially asks Quebec Superior Court to issue a clear statement clarifying that people wearing religious attire can have access to courts.

El-Alloul's lawyers are still working on a formal complaint with Quebec's council of judges about Judge Marengo's conduct.