ISIS recruiter's wife found guilty of refusing to stand for judge

May 04, 2018

The same ISIS-supporter who refused to remove the niqab during the police process (as mentioned in Cory Bernardi's podcast episode on Wednesday) has been found guilty of refusing to stand in court.

The wife of the convicted Islamic State recruiter gave the terrorist organisation's salute as she left court in Sydney after being found guilty of refusing to stand for a judge.

Moutiaa El-Zahed, 50, (pictured: Courtesy The Daily Telegraph) was charged with nine counts of engaging in disrespectful behaviour in court, an offence that was introduced in New South Wales in 2016.

After she was found guilty, she sat defiantly with her arms folded as the judge exited.

Then as El-Zahed left Sydney's Downing Centre Court, she gave the terrorist organisation's trademark salute, by raising her right index finger.

Sydney Magistrate Carolyn Huntsman said Ms El-Zahed "communicated a lack of respect for the court and the judge" by not rising to her feet when District Court Judge Audrey Balla came in and out of court during a civil hearing in 2016.

"There is no evidence before this court that she genuinely held any religious beliefs [and] there is no evidence that the teachings of Islam compelled this conduct," Magistrate Huntsman said.

Ms El-Zahed is the wife of convicted Islamic State recruiter Hamdi Alqudsi, who is serving a six-year jail sentence for helping young Australians travel to Syria to fight.

In 2014, during a counter-terror raid on her home, Ms El-Zahed along with her two sons and her husband alleged they were assaulted by police and falsely imprisoned.

They took the matter to court and the case was dismissed, but during the hearings the court found she knowingly refused to stand when the judge entered the room.

The law was the first of its kind in Australia and it applies to all courts in NSW except the Children's Court.

The matter will return to court on June 15.

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