ANTI-RACISM campaigners have protested against McDonald’s after one of its branches in London refused to serve a woman because she was wearing a hijab.
Islington Stand Up to Racism gathered outside the branch in Seven Sisters Road on Saturday after the 19-year-old student, who asked not to be named, was repeatedly told by a security guard to remove her hijab before entering on Thursday.
The woman, who is a British Muslim of Middle Eastern descent, had filmed the security guard, asking him to admit that it was because of her hijab. He replied: “It’s just a matter of taking it off.”
She explained that she wore it for religious reasons, adding: “I will stand in line and I will get the food that I want, because this isn’t OK.”
Another customer intervened to say: “You can’t stop her coming in here.”
She was finally allowed to approach the counter but then left saying she no longer wanted to buy anything.
“It didn’t feel real because I had seen so many videos like this and it was finally happening to me in real life,” she said later. “I was in so much disbelief.
“The friend I was with was shocked and scared, and said it was a risky situation. When it was over, I finally realised how these situations can become dangerous. This is not a one-off thing.”
She has vowed never to walk into a branch of McDonald’s again.
The fast food giant — which doesn’t offer any halal-certified food on its menu — told an outraged Twitter user: “We don’t have a policy which restricts/prevents anyone wearing hijab or any other religious dress from coming to restaurants.
“We welcome customers of all faiths and apologise to the customer as this situation shouldn’t have taken place,” it said.
McDonald’s has since apologised and said in a statement: “We are taking this matter very seriously and are addressing the situation with the individuals involved.
“The security guard, from a third-party company, has been suspended.”
Stand Up to Racism’s joint secretary Weyman Bennett told the Star: “US President Donald Trump has endorsed Islamophobia on a global basis. We have to fight it locally, however it manifests itself.
“Women have a right to wear whatever they want, whenever they want.”