Raffia Arshad creates history by becoming first hijab-wearing Muslim judge in U.K.

"It's taken a while to get there but I am so pleased.  It's not a personal achievement. It's a huge achievement for anyone from a diverse background", Raffia Arshad

Raffia Arshad creates history by becoming first hijab-wearing Muslim judge in U.K.
Raffia Arshad

Raffia Arshad,40, has been appointed as a judge by a district court of Britain. She is the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman appointed as a judge in the history of Britain. Hence, she is being viewed as an inspiration for other fellows to go against all odds and break the ceiling glass.

Arshad, a barrister at St Mary’s  Family Law Members, now a deputy district judge on the Midlands circuit sees her appointment a way forward  for the success of  diversity across the world’s most respected legal system. She received her appointment letter as a deputy District judge last week according to BBC report.

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Raffia who has been living in UK since her 11, is quoted as saying” It is important for all women, not only for Muslim women but it’s particularly important for Muslim women”.

“It is  definitely bigger than me”, and I know this is not about me”, said Arshad while speaking with Metro Newspaper.

She is the first member of her family to receive university education and had to face many challenges in her career. She was forced to remove her hijab but she refused to do so during her career without thinking the consequences potentially posing threats to her future.  “I decided that I was going to wear my headscarf; because for me it’s so important to accept the person for who they are and if I had to become a different person to pursue my profession, it’s not something I wanted,” she mentions.

“It’s taken a while to get there but I am so pleased.  It’s not a personal achievement. It’s a huge achievement for anyone from a diverse background”, she adds.

Ms Arshad holds a long experience of 17 years in dealing with children, forced marriage, women genital mutilation, and other family issues related to Sharia law. She also has authored various articles on Islamic laws related to family issues.

Joint heads of St Mary’s Chambers Vickie Hodges and Judy Claxton also congratulated her for her new journey and expressed full contentment with the appointment of Arshad which is “richly deserved” and based “entirely on merit.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. Dear Faheem,

    It’s really a wonderful news and a great representation of diversified society and, of course, an inspiration to all Muslim women facing similar challenges in their careers across the globe. I actually loved the statement “I decided that I was going to wear my headscarf; because for me it’s so important to accept the person for who they are and if I had to become a different person to pursue my profession, it’s not something I wanted”.

    On a personal note- I’m very motivated by your work, just keep writing and I wish you every success.

    Thanks,
    Zain

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