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Muslim Woman Booted From Indiana Dollar Store For Refusing To Remove Head Covering

When do customs that are perfectly acceptable in certain cultures outweigh the importance of rules that have been put in place by businesses for safety reasons? That’s a complex question that there’s no easy answers to, but there are plenty of times when situations that fall into this category arise.

The end result is a lot of yelling from both sides of the argument while very little actually gets solved.

Another one of those situations recently popped up at a Family Dollar store in in Gary, Indiana. As Raw Story shares, a Muslim woman entered the store with a full headscarf on. The store manager requested that the woman remove her face covering, and she explained that was due to robbery concerns.

That didn’t go over all that well, and a contentious back and forth ensued. Curiously, the Muslim woman captured the incident on video and later shared it on social media.

“Yes, ma’am, if you can’t remove that from your face I need you to leave the store,” the manager says in the video.

The woman in question, Sarah Zawjahtul AbdAllah Salaam, explained that the headscarf is a religious garment, but the manager wasn’t having it.

“You have to understand, too, that this is a high-crime area where we get robbed a lot. 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,” the manager replies.

“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 attempts to counter the manager’s argument, and she cites the fact that they are in America to bolster her argument.

“This is a country where it’s freedom of religion and it’s freedom of speech. I have a right to wear whatever I want to wear,” she said. “There’s women that come in here with bikini tops on.”

The manager grows frustrated at this point, and she offers up an ultimatum.

“I’ll have the cops come and remove you, thank you,” the manager says.

As she exits the store, Salaam continues recording her video

“Help, this world right now,” she says in frustration.

It remains unclear why Salaam had her phone at the ready to record what appeared to be a spontaneous conversation. After posting the video on social media, it received a ton of traction. The parent company of the store was reached for comment, but they have yet to offer up a reply.

So was this an example of discriminatory behavior on the part of the manager, or was this merely a matter of misunderstanding due to safety concerns and store policy? Answers to that will vary, as this is a topic that tends to stoke a ton of passion.

On one side of the ledger, we have rights of religious expression. On the other side resides the counterargument that suggests those that take up residence in new countries should do their best to adopt to the customs in their new home.

Due to its viral nature, the clip has sparked a rather heated discussion, and the debate is not going to be magically solved due to this incident alone.

Source: Raw Story, Snopes
Photo: Facebook, WLS-TV

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