Raffia Arshad became the first hijab wearing judge in the UK as she received her letter of appointment last week. “It’s taken a while to get here but I’m so pleased. It’s not just a personal achievement. It’s a huge achievement for anyone from a diverse background” she said.
Judge Arshad, who was the first in her family to go to university, said she had “broken that stereotype” of what most people imagine judges look like and encouraged others, no matter what profession, to “aim high”.
“Don’t worry about what you look like, don’t worry about not fitting into the mould, break that mould and achieve what you need to,” she said in an interview with the BBC.
In another interview with Metro UK, she said “It’s definitely bigger than me. I know this is not about me. It’s important for all women, not just Muslim women, but it is particularly important for Muslim women.”
Arshad is a mother of three and she has practiced family law for more than 17 years. She said she was “indebted” to her husband “who has supported me immensely” and given her “space to pursue my passion”.
She is an expert in Islamic law. She believes the judiciary in the UK “is still not diverse enough”..