Indian restaurant in Bahrain shuttered after refusing entry to hijab-wearing woman

The restaurant, named Lanterns, has since apologised and suspended a manager involved in the incident

Entertainment Desk March 28, 2022

The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) has shuttered an Indian restaurant by the name of Lanterns after it was reported that a hijab-wearing woman was denied entry. According to Bahraini newspaper The Daily Tribune, a video of the woman being turned away went viral all over social media, causing outrage in the country.

According to the report, the BTEA has asked “all tourism outlets to comply with regulations and avoid enforcing policies that violate the laws of the Kingdom”.

The report further adds, “‘We reject all actions that discriminate against people, especially regarding their national identity,’ the BTEA said in a statement. The restaurant, called Lanterns and located in the Adliya locality of Bahrain’s capital Manama, was closed in compliance with Decree Law No 15 of 1986, which regulates the tourism outlets including restaurants and hotels.”

The restaurant has since apologised, claiming that the manager responsible for the actions has been suspended. They said in a statement posted to the restaurant’s Instagram, “Everyone is welcome to Lanterns as how it has been for more than 35 years that we have been serving all nationalities in the beautiful Kingdom of Bahrain. Lanterns is a place for everyone to come enjoy with their families and feel at home. In this instance, a mistake has been made by a manager who is now being suspended as this does not represent who we are. As a goodwill gesture, we welcome all our Bahraini patrons to Lanterns on Tuesday 29th of March to have complimentary food on us.”

This is the latest display of anti-Muslim sentiment, with hostility towards the religious minority growing in India. Hardline Hindu groups are demanding restrictions on wearing the hijab in classrooms in more Indian states after a court upheld a ban on the traditional Islamic head-scarf in Karnataka state, worrying Muslim students who had protested against the ban.

The Karnataka High Court decision earlier this month, backing the southern state's ban on the hijab in February, has also been welcomed by top federal ministers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who say students should avoid wearing religious clothing in class.


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