UK holiday company faces legal action for bumper-car hijab ‘discrimination’

UK holiday company faces legal action for bumper-car hijab ‘discrimination’
Butlins is a large holiday chain with camps across the UK. (WikiCommons)
Updated 14 December 2017

UK holiday company faces legal action for bumper-car hijab ‘discrimination’

UK holiday company faces legal action for bumper-car hijab ‘discrimination’

LONDON: The father of a girl barred from riding the dodgems at Butlins while wearing a hijab has launched a discrimination case against the British holiday company.
Moammer Nasser, 41 visited Butlins in Minehead last June with his wife and four children, UK media reported. His 16-year-old daughter was approached by an attendant while the family was queuing for a bumper-car ride, he said, and was allegedly denied access due to her hijab.
Nasser asked to see evidence of a policy banning hijabs at Butlins after the attendant cited health and safety concerns.
“I was shown a safety code which stated that some disabled guests or those with physical injuries may not be able to use rides safely,” Nasser told The Guardian. “But wearing a hijab is not a disability or a physical injury.”
“During our stay at the resort there was another lady who was wearing a scarf around her neck and was allowed on the rides; many people were wearing hoods and the tie strings were hanging … yet they were still allowed on the rides,” Nasser said.
“We were humiliated in front of other fairground users … People were looking at us as if we were criminals, being stopped and questioned by the ride attendant, followed by a supervisor and the fairground manager coming out to speak to us whilst people stared and looked at my family, probably assuming that we had done something wrong.”
Nasser is now bringing a claim for race and religious discrimination against Butlins, a large holiday chain with camps across the UK.
He has launched a crowd justice campaign to fund the legal action, claiming that his daughter’s hijab in no way presented a health and safety concern.
“The hijab covered her face and neck. It was raining so she was wearing a jacket and so the part of the hijab covering her neck was tucked into her jacket,” he said.
A spokesperson from Butlins denied discrimination was involved and said staff are trained not to compromise when it comes to the health and safety of guests.