Stranger files complaint against judge who wouldn't hear woman wearing hijab


Citizens across Canada have been coming together to help the woman who was not heard in Quebec court because she was wearing a hijab.

A Montreal man who never met Rania El-Alloul took it upon himself to file a complaint with the Quebec Judicial Council against judge Eliana Morengo.

Jean-Pierre Lussier told La Presse that by taking on the long and complicated complaint process it was his way to help.

It's not the first time he does something like this.  In the fall he filed a complaint against the provincial police officer involved in an accident that killed a 5-year-old boy.

A resident from Toronto and another from Vancouver have also started a crowdsourcing campaign to help El-Alloul buy a new car.

She originally appeared in court to try and get her vehicle back after it was seized for 30 days because her son was driving it without a valid license.

"She was extremely thankful, she was very emotional.  She described leaving court that day crying all the way home, she thought her country had failed her, this has renewed her faith in Canada and Canadians," Nouman Ahmad, one of the two who started the campaign said.  It has currently raised over $44 000.

"It's good that people are doing things, we should continue to be involved as citizens to seek justice and make sure something like this never happens again but we also have to be careful to do it in a coordinated fashion," Sameer Zuberi, a family friend who also speaks for the Canadian Muslim Forum said.

He suggests people who want to help reach out to his organization and they can help coordinate with El-Alloul.

He added that El-Alloul will also be filling a complaint with the Quebec Judicial Council after she selects a lawyer.  Several have offered their services pro bono.

The Quebec Judicial Council couldn't confirm whether it received a complaint because they are confidential.

A spokesperson said anyone can file a complaint.  She says if one has been made, it will be discussed at the next council meeting at the end of March.  If it is not rejected, they will investigate it further.

That investigation can lead to an inquiry committee which will determine whether the judge should be reprimanded or whether the council should recommend that the judge be removed.

More on how complaints are treated available here.

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