We apologize. We had to make an edit to our story. It turns out Sheila Abdus-Salaam was the first Muslim woman judge in American history. She was appointed in 1992 and still sits on the New York State Supreme Court. In 2006, Charlene Mekled Elder was appointed to the 3rd Circuit Court of Wayne County in Michigan. Lesson for the day: don’t believe social media.
Recent comments by GOP presidential candidate advocating for a ban on Muslims in the United States has caught a lot of headlines as of late. While there has been quite a bit of resistance to Trump and his remarks, he still has a lot of supporters out there in this society. Well, Trump and his ilk have to fall back for a second as we celebrate Carolyn Walker-Diallo, the first Black Muslim woman sworn in as a judge in American history.
Walker-Diallo is now the civil court judge of the 7th Municipal Court District in New York City. She was sworn in on Thursday, December 10, evening during an induction ceremony at Brooklyn Borough Hall. She said her vows over The Noble Qur’an as opposed to the commonplace Holy Bible. Walker-Diallo’s campaign website reads:
Thank you to my family, friends, and neighbors of the 7th Municipal Court District in East New York, Cypress Hills, Bushwick and Brownsville for electing me to be the next Civil Court Judge to represent my home District!
All is praise is indeed due to the Most High! I am humbled that my community has entrusted me with the immense responsibility of ensuring that EVERYONE has notice and a FAIR opportunity to be heard in the halls of justice.
When we embarked on this journey almost a year ago, I vowed that if given the opportunity to serve in this capacity, every decision I make as a judge would be made with integrity, compassion and a commitment to ensuring equality under the law. I remain committed to this vow and look forward to demonstrating that the decisions I render will be indeed judgment we as a community can trust! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!
Onward and Upward!
Carolyn Walker-Diallo, a lifelong resident of East New York, started her legal career as a litigation associate for prestigious international law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. From there, she joined the New York City Office of the Corporation Counsel, where she served as an assistant corporation counsel. After assuming a leadership role at The George Walker Jr. Community Coalition, Inc. ( a community nonprofit named in honor of her father), Walker-Diallo used her knowledge and means to create the East New York Youth Court. This entity she founded “trains young people ages 13-18 to serve as judges, attorneys, clerks, bailiffs and jurors in real cases involving their peers.” This court is the first and only of its kind.
This milestone reached by Carolyn Walker-Diallo is a monumental achievement for followers of the Islamic faith, Black people and women alike. We wish her the best during her tenure of service! It’ll be pretty cool to see a Muslima rocking a hijab on the bench!