A Muslim amusement park guest in California decided she wanted to ride the go-karts like the other patrons but didn’t want to follow the rules to do so. Wearing her full Islamic garb, she approached the ride and tried to enter the arena, but she was told that her burka was a danger, as loose clothing poses an obvious risk of getting entangled in the mechanisms on the go-kart creating a hazard.
The attire rules aren’t new to venues like this which frequently advertise that no loose clothing or open shoes can be worn when on the ride. The reason is obvious to most sensible people, but for Muslims, they see it as an opportunity to claim discrimination and religious persecution at the cost of others.
Park employees stopped the Muslim teen and her similarly dressed friends before they could get on go-karts. Pointing out the posted signage surrounding it, the worker explained the safety rules which specifically applied to attire. This policy wasn’t put into place to isolate anyone who follows Islam, it was to protect everyone in the park and ensure they had a good time, and that the business didn’t get a liability suit. Unfortunately, the Muslim girl didn’t listen to that common sense reasoning.
Abdo took the policy personally while completely ignoring the fact that it wasn’t a target of his family’s religion, but a concern for the teen’s safety. This didn’t stop him from seeking vengeance and financial gain, having, of course, realized an opportunity at hand to exploit the overly politically correct climate in the liberal state of California.
So an honest, taxpaying company paid a big price for looking out for the safety of their guests due to one unreasonable person looking to profit by preying on businesses with the courts.
Nearly four years after Noorah Abdo was denied from riding go-karts at a Livermore amusement park because she wore a hijab, the company has agreed to change their “no headwear” policy and pay $32,000 to settle a discrimination complaint.
A complaint against Palace Entertainment, an amusement park company and owner of the Boomers park in Livermore, was filed in August 2014 with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The grievance was submitted on behalf of seven Muslim girls and women, and a Sikh man after they were denied access to the go-karts because they refused to remove their religious hijab or turbans.
“It was really upsetting for these individuals when they were denied access purely because of their religious beliefs,” said Brittney Rezaei, a civil rights attorney with CAIR-San Francisco Bay Area.
In addition to awarding each of the plaintiffs $4,000, Palace Entertainment agreed to address safety concerns at its parks in Livermore and Irvine, and allow customers wearing securely wrapped religious head coverings to ride the go-karts.
“When I read the policy, I was shocked — in disbelief — about the material I was reading,” Nasir Abdo said in the complaint.
Nasir Abdo said he offered to have Noorah wear a helmet or a hoodie in lieu of her hijab, but that those suggestions were also denied.
Palace Entertainment could not be immediately reached for comment.
The policy, which was implemented in 2010, read, “If fashion, religious expression or your hair style is more important to you than safety, that’s fine. You can do what you want with your life. You just can’t do it at our park.”
Furthermore, the company policy stated in addition to hats and ear muffs, yarmulkes were also not allowed on the go-karts.
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