Woman Says She Was Barred From McDonald's Unless She Removed Hijab

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The Muslim teenager was not allowed to enter the building because she had a hijab on. Now, her video is going viral, and McDonald's has a lot of explaining to do.

McDonald's logo.

A McDonald’s restaurant in London is getting a lot of hate for kicking a Muslim customer out after she refused to remove her hijab. Thankfully, the victim obtained footage of the mistreatment she was subject to, proving once again just how difficult it is to be a Muslim in Europe today.

A 19-year-old student, who did not want to be named, said she went to the McDonald’s down the street from where she lives. When she arrived, she was stopped by a security guard who told her she was not allowed inside the building due to her hijab. As she started filming, the guard told her to simply take the hijab off if she wanted to come inside.

She refused to comply with the request.

"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 OK," she said.

As she continued to film, a bystander told the guard to let it go because the fact the girl wears a hijab is “none of [his] business.”

A McDonald’s staff member then finally addressed the girl, telling her to stop filming, which she refused to do. He then offered to serve her.

Claiming she had never experienced this type of prejudice before, she told The Guardian that the whole ordeal “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 chain of restaurants eventually released a statement regarding this incident, saying that the company does not bar anyone of any faith from eating at their restaurants.

“We are taking this matter extremely seriously and are addressing this with the individuals involved,” the statement read.

Unfortunately, the damage had already been done by the time McDonald’s vowed to look into the matter, and the victim had already said she would never go to McDonald’s again.

“The friend I was with was shocked and scared and said it was a risky situation,” the victim told reporters when discussing how she felt about the whole ordeal. “When it was over, I finally realized how these situations can become dangerous. This is not a one-off thing.”

As we all can tell by this incident and by the victim's own knowledge regarding other similar occurrences, Islamophobia is alive and well not only in the United States but also in the United Kingdom, proving that more must be done to prevent this type of harassment in the Western world.

Banner and thumbnail image credit: Flickr user Todd Van Hoosear

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