McDonald's refuses to serve woman because she's wearing a hijab
A late-night McDonald's security guard allegedly refused entry to a woman wearing a hijab
A 19-year-old Muslim woman has claimed she was refused service in a McDonald's restaurant in Holloway, North London because she was wearing a hijab.
The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the guard at the fast food joint's branch on Seven Sisters Road stopped her and asked her to remove her hijab because it was a "security threat". The woman filmed the entire incident which took place on Thursday.
The video was uploaded on Twitter by the woman's friend under the username @south-sab.
Here is the video of the incident, occurring at McDonald's on Seven Sister's Road in Holloway, London. pic.twitter.com/07acmBYdjB— Sabrina (@south_sab) December 1, 2017
In footage of the incident, the woman asks a guard why she cannot be allowed to queue.
“It’s just a matter of taking it off," he says.
She responds: “It’s not just a matter of taking it off. I wear this for religious reasons and I’m not ashamed of it, and I will stand in line and I will get the food I want, because this isn’t okay."
When another member of the public intervenes to defend the teenager, the guard says: “It’s none of your business.”
The woman says “this is f****** ridiculous”. A member of staff tells her “don’t be rude” and asks her to stop filming, which she refuses to do, saying it "is my legal right to film whatever is happening right now."
When staff eventually agree to serve her, she says: “I don’t want want anything any more.”
The video ends with the woman saying: "I have been living in the UK for 19 years now and this is the first time I'm faced with this kind of discrimination and I am shocked. I am actually shocked."
The student later told the Guardian: “I thought ‘it’s finally happening to me’, like it has to so many hijabis.
“It didn’t feel real because I had seen so many videos like this and it was finally happening to me in real life. I was in so much disbelief.
“The friend I was with was shocked and scared, and said it was a risky situation.
“When it was over, I finally realised how these situations can become dangerous. This is not a one-off thing. I will never walk into a McDonald’s again.”
Twitter users were furious after the video went viral. Many people were shocked to see such discrimination in a city like London. The man who defended the woman was also lauded by many.
One person wrote: "McDonald's is supposed to serve everybody unless they are breaking the law in some manner, as far as I know there's no law against wearing a hijab in the UK, in fact you may have a discrimination suit against McDonald's."
I am so angry. A little teary-eyed. This is not okay. I am so proud of you for standing up for yourselves. I will stand up for you too. @McDonaldsUK you better make this right. With more than just a statement. Fix this. You have the ability to make changes. Do it.— Taylor (@kennedytaylora) December 2, 2017
The fact we r in UK and having to debate what a woman can wear and can’t is beyond me. She can wear her nickers on her head and even then it shouldn’t be our bloody business. 🤦♂️— badria Jibril (@BadriaJibril) December 1, 2017
Just appalling making people feel like criminals and second class citizens...— G Watson (@GWatson35) December 2, 2017
As soon as the young lady used a swear word. The cashier or manager shouts “don’t swear” as if swearing is a crime. Actually swearing is not a crime but it is against the law not to serve someone based on their religious beliefs.I hope the manager and security guard are fired pic.twitter.com/jCWfdv8v1A— Retweet this (@Retweetthat17) December 2, 2017
McDonald's later told many publications that it has no policy which restricts or prevents anyone wearing a hijab, or any other religious attire, from entering their restaurants.
"We welcome customers of all faiths and sincerely apologise for this situation. We are taking this matter very seriously and are addressing the situation with the individuals involved; the security guard, from a third party company, has been suspended," McDonald's said, according to a report in The Independent.
They also took to Twitter to apologise for the incident.
We don’t have a policy which restricts/ prevents anyone wearing hijab or any other religious dress from coming to restaurants. We welcome customers of all faiths & apologise to the customer as this situation shouldn’t have happened— McDonald's UK (@McDonaldsUK) December 1, 2017
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