Muslim Employee of Disney Asserts Her Right to Wear Hijab
CAIR-LA Civil Rights Manager Affad Shaikh and Imane Boudlal
address a press conference on August 18 outside Disneyland’s
Grand Californian Hotel
CAIR-LA Staff Attorney and Deputy Executive Director
Ameena M. Qazi speaks at the conference
Anaheim , CA: The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) continues to advocate on behalf of an Orange County Muslim woman to wear the hijab (Islamic headscarf) at Disneyland's Grand Californian Hotel, where she serves as a hostess.
Imane Boudlal, 26, has wanted to wear the headscarf to work and requested accommodation to do so in June of this year. Having waited for over two months, and with the beginning of Ramadan, Boudlal started wearing her own white headscarf, which matched her white uniform blouse, to work last Sunday. However, Disney - citing its "Look Policy'' - offered Boudlal a position in the back, away from the guests' view, or to not to work at all.
Earlier last week, CAIR-LA Staff Attorney and Deputy Executive Director Ameena M. Qazi, sent a letter to Disney demanding that it fulfill Imane's request for religious accommodation - her right to wear the headscarf.
"Disney has no legal justification to not allow Ms. Boudlal to wear her headscarf at work," said Qazi. "To say that her headscarf would somehow impact guests is not only insulting to her, but is deeply offensive to the thousands of Muslims who open up their pocket-books at Disney parks and resorts every year."
Boudlal also filed a discrimination complaint, with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - the federal agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws in the workplace.
"They cannot continue to violate my rights, and just string me along. Disney is not above the law," Boudlal said.
SEE: Hostess files complaint after being sent home without pay
SEE: Muslim Woman and her Team allege Disneycrimination in Hijab Flap
SEE: Muslim Disney Worker Claims Discrimination
"We must send the Disney Corporation a clear message that workers do not check their human rights at the door. Not only are Disney's actions discriminatory, but they contradict the corporation's purported concern for respecting cultural diversity," said Ada Briceno of UNITE HERE Local 11.
CAIR-LA thanks Unite Here 11, Boudlal's union, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE-LA) and the many Americans, Muslim and otherwise, who have stood in solidarity with Bouldlal and rallied for her right to wear the hijab at work.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.