When a Muslim man refused to stand in court due to religious reasons, the judge found the perfect way to convey his opinion about the refusal.
Ricardo McFarlane was in court for allegedly disobeying a court order banning him from approaching people and “preaching sharia law.” The appearance followed McFarlane and 21 other men’s attempts to approach customers outside a store, asking for strict Islamic laws to be imposed.
Judge Martin Beddoe, when seeing that McFarlane refused to stand, had this to say, according to a report from The Sun: “If Mr. McFarlane isn’t going to treat this court with respect then I might have to deal with him differently than to release him on bail.”
Defense attorney Roy Hedlam explained, “Because of his religious belief he believes there is only one person who he should bow to.”
The judge responded: “That is as may be, but this isn’t a court of religion, this is a secular court and it expects to be treated with respect. That isn’t in breach of any religious principles I’m aware of.”
After hearing the judge’s remarks, McFarlane then stood for the rest of the hearing.
Those weighing in with comments about the courtroom exchange had plenty to say, with one Mad World News Facebook reader noting: “I would rise in any courtroom I might find myself in. Been in several as an observer, never for me. When a Judge enters I rise. Not for the judge as a person but for what he represents. I have known some judges socially and to a person, they are enjoyable to be around. But, if I knew a judge that was the most miserable SOB I ever met I would rise in his courtroom for what he represented. The best legal system in the world.”
Another person wrote: “We must keep our laws and only our laws. Proud of the judge holding his grounds.”
One commenter wrote: “This type of behavior is the fault of the liberal governments in Europe for following ‘political correctness’ instead of demanding that immigrants and, even their own citizens, follow the existing laws.”
A commenter on the Yahoo UK & Ireland Facebook post about the story noted: “He has obviously forgotten that Muslim law specifies that you should follow the law of the land you are on. Not only has he disobeyed TWICE by preaching that laws should switch to shariah and then in court but he’s left the rest of us Muslims to put up with more crap that zealots like him cause in the first place.”
Another person noted: “You must obey the laws of the country. There is no harm in standing for the judge out of respect if that is the law. Please equip yourself with Islamic knowledge so that Islam does not get blamed for your actions.”
One commenter put it simply: “That’s a good judge, he would expect the same from everyone in his court, too right, and we need more like him.”
Others wondered why McFarlane wasn’t found in contempt of court for refusing to stand in the courtroom.