Bank refuses to serve woman in hijab
SAN DIEGO: A Muslim woman has allegedly been denied service in a bank in California for wearing a Islamic headscarf, prompting a civil rights group
to take up the issue with the US department of justice.
The woman, Amal Hersi, hails from Somalia. “I felt like a criminal. I felt humiliated. I felt ashamed,” said Hersi.
Hersi said she was waiting in line at the Navy Federal Credit Union in Mission Valley when she said she was stopped by an employee.
“So she goes, ‘Ma’am, could you follow me?’ And at that point I was like what did I do wrong?” said Hersi.
Hersi said the reason was because she wore a traditional Muslim scarf. “For her to approach me in front of 40 people and they’re actually looking at me thinking, you know, what’s wrong with her or why is she being singled out,” she said. Even after telling the employee she wore the scarf for religious reasons, she was asked to remove it.
Responding to the charge, the bank said: “In the interest of security and safety for our members and employees — hats, hoods and sunglasses must be removed when entering the branch office”.
“Special consideration for cultural and religious garments is under the discretion of the branch management,” it said, adding that it is making inquiries into the recent incident.
“Under this bizarre and discriminatory policy, no Muslim woman wearing a head scarf, no Sikh man wearing a turban, no Jewish man wearing a yarmulke, no Catholic nun wearing a habit, no cancer survivor wearing a scarf, no Amish woman wearing a bonnet, and no blind person wearing sunglasses may enter a Navy Federal Credit Union branch nationwide,” said public relations director Edgar Hopida of Council for American-Islamic Relations, an NGO looking into the incident.
“We call on the US department of justice to investigate this disturbing case and Navy Federal’s apparently unconstitutional policy and to ensure that the religious rights of all customers are maintained,” Hopida added.
Bank refuses to serve woman in hijab-US-World-The Times of India