Store manager asks Muslim woman to leave after she refused to remove her niqab.
In a shocking incident, a Muslim woman was told to either “remove her veil or remove herself” from a Family Dollar store in Gary, Indiana. The offended woman, Sarah Zawjahtul Adballah Salaam, says she was really shocked by this demand and that it was the first time anyone has ever told her such a thing.
Salaam was at the store to purchase charcoal for a barbecue cook-out with her family. An employee at the store, who was later identified as the store manager, demanded that she unveil herself by removing her niqab. Salaam retorted that the niqab is a religious garment and she cannot be told to remove it. To this, the manager replies that she perfectly understands Salaam's point, but as it is an area with a high rate of theft, she would have to insist on her removing the veil. The manager was even quoted to have said, “You need to remove that from your face or remove yourself from the store.”
Salaam says that she had barely taken 10 steps into the shop when she heard the manager call out to her to remove her niqab. Shocked, Salaam asked again if she was really being asked to remove her veil to which the manager replied that she has to do it or just leave the store. At this point, Salaam began video-recording the scene on her phone which she later shared on social media platforms. Salaam tried to defend her rights by citing the laws of religious freedom in the constitution, but her arguments are only met with threats of police action. Having four children waiting for her outside in the car, Salaam thought it a wiser choice to leave the store than to let a scene happen which could traumatize her children.
Later, in an interview, Salaam said that though she has been wearing the niqab for years in this country, and this was the first time she had to face such a demand. She says it was a humiliating experience and wished to have a talk with the store manager about this.
The Family Dollar store manager refused to give any statements. This is just one of the many such incidents that have been occurring the U.S., either due to ignorance or due to a rise in Islamophobia.