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First American Muslim becomes a judge

Dhanidina explains what it looks like to be a “Muslim judge” in the United States.
Washington: Amidst anti-Muslim sentiments rising in North America, the first Muslim judge has been appointed in California. Justice Halim Dhanidina has become the state’s most senior judge of the Muslim faith. He is the first Muslim to be elevated to California’s Courts of Appeal.

Justice Halim was born in Chicago to Gujarati parents from the Indian subcontinent who’d already migrated to East Africa before coming to America. He studied law degree in California.

As a father, he spends his weekend with his children, but on working days, Dhanidina wields great authority over other people’s lives and families as a judge.

Talking with NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent David Tereshchuk, Dhanidina explains what it looks like to be a “Muslim judge” in the United States. He says, I’ve been faced with people who would make ignorant or bigoted comments. And it was just something that you learn to deal with. It’s very easy for people to say, to imagine what horrible things would happen if a Muslim is a judge, if there aren’t any Muslim judges. By providing what I’m hoping is a counterexample, it sort of demystifies the subject.

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