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Disney tells Muslim woman to work out back where she won’t be seen

By Josh Cain |  OC Weekly | August 18 2010

As we reported earlier, a Muslim woman who works as a hostess in the Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland Resort was not allowed to come to work today because she was wearing her hijab, a traditional Islamic headscarf.

This was the fourth time that the woman, 26-year-old Anaheim resident Imane Boudlal, attempted to work in the headscarf. Each time, she’s been told to remove the scarf or leave.

This time, however, she showed up with some back up.

Iman_Disney35b.jpg
Boudlal as she attempted to go to work for the fourth time.

Boudlal was accompanied by representatives of Unite Here Local 11, a union representing hotel workers involved in a contract dispute with Disney, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the rights group whose state office is in Anaheim.

She and her support team insisted that Disney did not allow her to work because of discriminatory policies against Muslims.

However, theme park officials insisted in a press release that Disney offered Boudlal “reasonable accommodations” on her request to wear the headscarf.

Boudlal said those accommodations would have forced her to work in the back of the hotel, where she wouldn’t be seen, rather than greeting guests in her job as a hostess.

“Why should I have to hide?” Boudlal asked at a press conference conveniently Unite Here and CAIR organized at the intersection of Disney Way and the driveway leading to the Grand Californian.

“I’m not here to scare anyone,” she continued. She explained that she had requested that she be allowed to wear the headscarf in a written letter to her Disney employers. When she didn’t hear back for two months, she went to work anyway in early August.

Boudlal said when she went to work wearing the hijab, her manager told her early that day she could wear the headscarf, but she was later escorted from the hotel by security.

She said she understood that the headscarf didn’t comply with the “Disney look,” but she felt she was being discriminated against because other workers were allowed to wear symbols of Christian faith, tattoos and other symbols that didn’t comply with the rules.

Basically, things don’t look very good for Disney from a public relations standpoint. It doesn’t help that Boudlal’s supporters, Unite Here, have made it known they don’t like the way Goofy and Co. do business.

Neither does CAIR, apparently. Ameena Qazi, deputy executive director and staff attorney for the group, seemed downright hostile to Disney when she stood up to speak at the press conference.

“Disney is positioning itself as a company that discriminates,” Qazi said. “I suggest [Disney] take a ride on ‘It’s A Small World,’ a ride that celebrates diversity.”

August 19, 2010 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Islamophobia

5 Comments

  1. Please take this simple test to determine your contribution for peace and survival of our specie :

    A : We live short lives , if you believe in god and that makes you happy , so be it .

    B : My god ( Disney style ) is better and bigger than your Muslim god , so get lost or convert .

    C : I am an Atheist , I do not condon Any religion , all are equally dangerous to the evolution of our specie , hence something not to be taken lightly nor encouraged .

    D : I am the Elite/Bilderbergs and I like to provoke wars between religious fools .

    After chosing , think hard Why you are right , than check the human History to see if your choice was/is popular and its consequences … In other words History will give you Reality Check time .

    Daniel picked ‘C’ and changed the world , see how he did it at RecipeForaNation.vox.com , future shocking .

    Comment by Urod | August 19, 2010

  2. According to Dr. Alan Sabrosky Israel did 911 using the Mossad and a plethora of neocons placed in key positions throughout the US government and the military. Sabrosky is former head of the US Army War College. So why are we hostile to Muslims, when it was Israel that orchestrated 911?

    Comment by Cold Wind | August 21, 2010

  3. Christians or Jews are not allowed at Disney to wear symbols of their faith except out of sight. There is no discrimination against Muslims, this is a Muslim provocation orchestrated for evil purpose.

    She was offered a position away from the public. When I go to Disney I expect to see cast members dressed in proper gear. I do not want to see Muslim women wearing the symbols of their oppression.

    Comment by bernie | August 22, 2010

    • bernie,

      Modesty is not symbolic of anything.

      Your obnoxious bigotry should be hidden from public view.

      But then, modesty is apparently foreign to you. As with shame.

      Could it be that your allegation of “evil intent” indicates projection on your part? It seems so. Either that or your are simply a severe paranoid.

      Comment by aletho | August 22, 2010

  4. When I can’t meet the dress code, I’m fired.

    Comment by IndianaJohn | August 25, 2010


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