I knew there would be fallout, but in my naivety, I didn't expect it to be as it has been.
Letters and texts to the Editor in the HB Today have easily fallen four-to-one in favour of "Good on you Judge" and more stupidly "Go back to where you came from" to Ms Ali.
Stupidly, because Ms Ali is a New Zealand Maori who is a Muslim.
Not all Muslims are refugees!! And Muslim is a religion not a country!
So sad to be living among such ignorant, bigoted people who operate in George Bush's climate of fear.
Judge Rea said he misinterpreted the reason for the wearing of the hijab - he thought it was a protest. Heaven preserve us all.
I am told by a senior official of the Courts that the Judge had had a particularly hard day, and one can have some sympathy with that, but I think it's at times of stress that one's personal prejudices leak out. And unfortunately someone of his standing taking such action has given the locals a figurehead to attach their prejudices to, and given them courage to race into print applauding his "stand" which he now declares a mistake.
Not a good week for racial conciliation.