US attorney Nadia Kahf has been appointed to the New Jersey Superior Court, becoming the first hijab-wearing judge on the bench, local media reported.
Kahf, a Syrian-origin family law and immigration attorney from the township of Wayne, took the oath on the Holy Quran she inherited from her grandmother.
“I’m overwhelmed and very happy and very honored as well,” Judge Kahf, 50, said in an interview with the North Jersey news outlet. “I’m happy the bench is going to reflect (all) residents of New Jersey.”
Kahf specialises in family law and has worked on immigration cases too. Since 2003, she has served on the board of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights organisation.
After a year of waiting, Kahf, is now a state Superior Court judge in Passaic County, New Jersey. She was nominated by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
“I am proud to represent the Muslim and Arab communities in New Jersey in the United States,” she said during her swearing in ceremony on Tuesday.
“I want the younger generation to see that they can practice their religion without fear that they can be who they are.”
Kahf was nominated to the Superior Court in February 2022, but her nomination was delayed for more than a year, first by State Senator Kristin Corrado who signed off in October.