UK’s first hijab-wearing criminal lawyer to be appointed

British-born Bangladeshi Sultana Tafadar has become the first hijab-wearing female criminal lawyer to be appointed to Queen’s Counsel.

The Luton-born lawyer hopes her success will provide inspiration and confidence to other female lawyers from black, Asian and minority backgrounds.

“It’s a surreal experience, especially as the first hijab-wearing lawyer to be admitted to the criminal bar,” Tafadar said.

She hopes it will help other young hijab-wearing women’s dreams “come true”.

Tafadar explained that his appointment to this position was not easy, indicating that the number of women appointed to this position is 575, including 34 from ethnic minorities and only two women wearing hijab among them.

She said that at the beginning of her work as a lawyer, she was the only woman wearing the hijab in the criminal court. Silence often reigned in the courts when she was seen.

She used to be asked if she was the interpreter or the defendant in a case, and no one asked her if she was the lawyer for the case in court.

Tafadar is also leading an international initiative against the hijab ban in France.

“France wants to impose various forms of hijab bans and this amounts to sexual, racial and religious discrimination,” she said.

Submitted by Israa Farhan

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