McDonald’s has apologised after one of it’s employees referred to a patron’s headscarf as a ‘security threat’ and demanded that she remove it or leave the restaurant’s premises.
The woman, whom The Guardian identified as a British Muslim, was stopped by a guard who reportedly appeared shocked when she refused to comply with his demand. She filmed the encounter, a video of which was posted on Twitter by a friend of hers.
The guard is seen nonchalantly repeating his demand, responding to her request for a clarification by saying: “It’s just a matter of taking it off.” To this she replied: “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.”
A bystander who questions the guards right to make such a demand is brusquely told off, with the guard saying: “It’s none of your business.” The staffer asked the woman to stop filming but she refused. Eventually the staff consented to serving her but she said, “I don’t want anything any more” when .
The student said the attack had left her shocked: “I thought: ‘It’s finally happening to me,’ like it has to so many hijabis. It 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 friend I was with was shocked and scared, and said it was a risky situation. When it was over, I finally realised how these situations can become dangerous. This is not a one-off thing. I will never walk into a McDonald’s again,” she added.
A McDonald’s spokesman distanced the fast-food chain from the actions of it’s employee saying that the company “does not have a policy in place which restricts or prevents anyone wearing a hijab, or any other religious dress, from entering” any of it’s establishments.
She added: “We welcome customers of all faiths and would like to apologise to the customer as this situation should not have taken place. We are taking this matter extremely seriously and are addressing this with the individuals involved.”