Muslim woman in hijab denied entry into pub, asked to remove head covering to enter premises: 'What is that? Take it off'

Soaliha Iqbal, 21, said the incident occurred when she was entering the Paragon Hotel in Circular Quay with some of her friends for dinner on Friday night

                            Muslim woman in hijab denied entry into pub, asked to remove head covering to enter premises: 'What is that? Take it off'
(Getty Images)

A Muslim woman has called out a popular Sydney pub for discriminating against her and not allowing her to enter unless she removed her hijab. 

Soaliha Iqbal revealed that she was standing in line along with some of her friends to enter the Paragon Hotel in Circular Quay for dinner post attending a climate change protest on Friday night. The journalism student, 21, claims that the bouncer ordered her to remove her religious head covering in order to enter the premises. 

When she refused to remove her hijab, she was forced to 'stand aside' and felt 'humiliated'.

Iqbal spoke to DailyMail and shared, "Before viewing my ID, the security pointed at my head and said 'take that off'. I didn't initially respond because I was a bit shocked by the whole thing. He said again: 'Take it off', 'What is it?' 'Take it off'". 

She added how the bouncer quickly got very defensive and had the audacity to tell her, "You're overreacting, you need to calm down".

"I swore at him and walked away and had a bit of a cry because I didn't know what to do," Iqbal revealed. She shared how the incident was very upsetting especially when she had a good day and was with her friends. 

"I wanted to leave but I had a few friends who were like 'this is outrageous, unacceptable and we should say something'," she continued.

As the group was standing outside the venue, they were approached by a police officer who told them to 'move along'.

According to, Iqbal added the whole group was 'victim-shamed' by the authorities who were at the premises. 

Iqbal and her friends can be seen talking to a hotel manager who kept beating around the bush and would not apologize to her. "Surely, if it was just a misunderstanding, management would be tripping over themselves to apologize? Is it really worth the PR nightmare that could ensue?" Iqbal shared. 

The hotel's group operations eventually apologized and claimed that it was a misunderstanding.

"I've never ever in my life been treated like this by an establishment. 'I've never had a company be Islamophobic towards me," she revealed.

If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514