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By Andrea Peyser
December 18, 2015
From the reaction, one would think this woman was advocating for human sacrifice, not sending a loud and proud message about her Muslim faith.
Carolyn Walker-Diallo was sworn in as a Brooklyn Civil Court judge last week in a ceremony that drew national attention to New York City, including fierce denunciations from foes, a couple of threats, plus “you go, girl!’’ cries from fans.
Decked out in a bright-red dress, her head covered by a Muslim headscarf, Walker-Diallo, 40, took the oath of office in Brooklyn’s Borough Hall while placing her right hand not on a Bible — but on a Koran.
Critics who saw a video of the swearing-in posted on Facebook were either rightfully outraged — or proved that the Donald Trump-esque demonization of Muslims is out of control.
One angry poster put up a picture of a Koran in flames. Aside from some messages of support, many others cursed Walker-Diallo for advancing a perceived plot for an Islamic takeover of the country.
“This is a sad day for America!” and “Makes me sick,” one man wrote on the social network.
Another claimed that the new judge planned to dole out Islamic law, rather than the law of the land.
I was surprised that a politically connected Democratic friend of mine grew so fearful of running afoul of the current Muslim-friendly political climate, my pal refused to grant me even a “no comment.’’
A Republican friend from Brooklyn, Laura Osenni, who has no connection with Walker-Diallo, channeled her inner David Duke (minus the anti-Semitism). After the Islamic terror attacks in Paris and the ISIS-inspired slaughter carried out by a Muslim couple in San Bernardino, Calif., she objects to Muslims assuming any positions of authority.
“There should be absolutely no Muslim judges,’’ she told me. “I certainly don’t think they’d be objective. We would see the beginnings of Sharia law here for sure. I can’t tolerate what is going on here.’’
Are we a land of bigots? Or do the naysayers make valid points?
President Obama lately has scolded Americans for harboring anti-Islamic bigotry — even though there’s no indication that incidents of Muslim-bashing are on the rise. (Still, two telephone threats that came into Walker-Diallo’s courthouse Tuesday are being investigated by the city police hate-crimes unit, law-enforcement sources told The Post.)
Meanwhile, Republican presidential front-runner Trump is riding high on his plan to temporarily ban noncitizen Muslims from entering the United States. Most Democrats and some presidential challengers in his party abhor the proposal. But a Monmouth University poll released this week revealed that Trump’s support from voters who identify themselves as Republicans and GOP-leaning independents has soared to 41 percent.
His closest rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, won support from just 14 percent of these voters.
Walker-Diallo would not be affected by such a ban; a biography posted on her campaign Web site describes her as “a lifelong resident of East New York.’’
She’s the second Muslim to serve as a judge in New York state, and isn’t the first elected official to be sworn in with a Koran — although no religious texts are required to be used in the ceremonies. In 2006, Keith Ellison of Minnesota became the first Muslim member of Congress, placing his hand on a Koran once used by Thomas Jefferson as he was sworn into the US House of Representatives.
Even the president is torn about Muslims. Last week, members of the US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of an Obama-backed bill that would bar people from Iraq, Syria, Iran and Sudan, or those who have visited those countries since March 1, 2011, from traveling to the United States without first obtaining visas.
The measure would single out Muslims for extra scrutiny or possible exclusion from this country.
I don’t believe that the Honorable Judge Walker-Diallo presents a danger to society because of her religion.
I’m more concerned that the judge, who earned a law degree from New York Law School and a Master of Business Administration degree from Baruch College, might be setting herself up as a liberal activist. She asserts on her Web site that her chief objective is “ensuring that EVERYONE has notice and a FAIR opportunity to be heard in the halls of justice,’’ a laudable goal.
But I would prefer that a jurist strictly follows the law, without regard to historical grievances against the legal system lodged by some people, based on race or religion.
Good luck, judge. You’ll need it.