While it’s no secret that Islamophobia is running rampant in the United States, people continue to take their hate to new lows.
A Muslim woman wearing a niqab — an Islamic scarf covering her nose and mouth— was kicked out of an Indiana retail store by the manager who cited potential robbery as her reasoning.
Sarah Zawjahtul AbdAllah Salaam recorded a video of the incident that occurred inside a Family Dollar store in Gary.
Salaam can be heard explaining to the store manager that she was wearing a religious garment, but the manager would not let up.
“Yes, ma’am, if you can’t remove that from your face I need you to leave the store,” the manager said.
As Salaam went back and forth with the woman, she became increasingly agitated and offered the excuse that the store is located in a “high-crime area.”
Adding insult to injury, the manager bid Salaam a “blessed day” — ironically, as she was in the midst of obstructing Salaam’s religious freedoms.
“You have to understand, too, that this is a high-crime area where we get robbed a lot,” the manager said. “You need to remove that from your face or remove yourself from the store. Remove that from your face or remove yourself from the store, please. I’m the manager, and I’m telling you to leave my store. Have a blessed day. My name is Janie, and have a blessed day.”
Salaam obeyed the manager’s demands, but not before condemning her blatant discriminatory behavior.
“This is a country where it’s freedom of religion and it’s freedom of speech,” Salaam says. “I have a right to wear whatever I want to wear. There’s women that come in here with bikini tops on.”
As Salaam finally exits the store, she says “May Allah help this world right now,” before ending the recording.
Salaam posted the video to her Facebook page and it has received more than 26,000 views, over 100 reactions, 156 comments, and more than 1,000 shares.
Commenters expressed various sentiments including solidarity, shock, and outrage.
The store manager’s behavior was inexcusable, and a very clear abuse of power. Salaam’s experience speaks to the ongoing mistreatment of Muslims in the U.S. as a result of xenophobia and Islamophobia.
Any "manager" who evidently cannot distinguish a religious garment from a ski mask doesn’t deserve to be in a leadership position.
Banner Photo Credit: Facebook user Sarah Zawjahtul AbdAllah Salaam/Twitter @nazgul