Woman Denied Service At Store Because Of Hijab

| by Maura Turcotte

No hijab or hit the road, one store told a Muslim woman in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Nadia Kamal claims the store Advance America Cash Advance, a payday lender, recently denied her service because of her hijab. When the store asked her to remove the garb, Kamal refused, for both religious and cultural reasons.

"The lady she told them just take it off a little bit and put it back," Fatah Kamal, Nadia's husband, told MyFoxPhilly. "She said I can't, 'I'm in a public place I cannot do that.'"

As Nadia’s husband further explained to the station, "They should show not their hair or like their beauty to someone beside their very close family.”

Although the store had a sign up telling customers that no sunglasses or hats could be worn inside, there was no mention of hijabs. When MyFoxPhilly contacted Advance America Cash Advance, an employee at the store said that the religious garb raised safety concerns.

Nonetheless, the incident hurt the couple and they already plan to not return to that Advance America Cash Advance store, as they shared with MyFoxPhilly.

Yet, the Kamals are not the only ones upset. Dawud Walid of the Council of American Islamic Relations also believes the store acted in the wrong.

"This is really about ignorance, it's really about fossilized policies and people being stubborn and not coming up to the modern time," Walid told to MyFoxPhilly. He said Nadia’s incident was not the first at Advance America Cash Advance. CAIR is currently involved in a lawsuit against the massive payday lender for discriminating against Muslim women.

"If it was about safety, a woman couldn't just walk into any old bank in these United States of America wearing a headscarf and get served," Walid stated to MyFoxPhilly.

Similarly, in Egypt, recent reports reveal that Muslim women wearing hijabs at resorts also face discrimination. Even though 90 percent of Egypt’s population is Muslim, hijab-free zones have surged in popularity at high-end places, including many resorts and restaurants in the country, according to Al Arabiya News.

“It feels degrading, we are in our own country and we are not happy,” Sally Nashaat, a 26-year-old woman who was denied entrance at a resort, told Al Arabiya News.

Sources: MyFoxPhilly, Al Arabiya News / Photo credit: Screenshot via MyFoxPhilly