A Muslim woman (currently unidentified) at a bank in Omaha, Nebraska was told she couldn't open a bank account unless she took off her head scarf.
The woman went to a Security National Bank (SNB) branch, where she was allowed inside. She explained multiple times that she wore her head scarf for religious purposes, yet tellers insisted she remove her hijab. She eventually agreed, but they still wouldn’t let her go inside the building, according to KMTV.
The SNB has issued a statement defending itself. It notes that, “For security reasons, our policy for all walk-in customers is to remove all face, eye and head coverings to allow our employees and security cameras to have a clear view of each person entering the bank. We routinely ask individuals to remove their hats, scarves and sunglasses prior to entering. This is done in an effort to keep our customers and employees safe.”
“The incident that occurred yesterday at our 78th & Cass location was in no way intended to be discriminatory. If it caused offense in any way, we are truly sorry.”
People of Islamic faith in Omaha are rallying in support of the woman, claiming the bank’s practices are discriminatory.
Sarah Ouedrogo, a member of the Islamic Center of Omaha, told KETV that, “They have to understand that this is not a normal head cover. It’s for a religious purpose, and if she chose that, nobody can tell her to take it off."
In this instance, if the woman complied and removed her hijab but still wasn’t let inside the bank, it was most likely due to Islamophobia, no matter what SNB claims.
Banner Image Credit: Twitter, @whatisamuslim