Fear of burglary, or discrimination? US Muslim woman asked to remove face covering in store
Sarah Safi, a Texas native, felt she was discriminated against when she went into a Family Dollar store and was asked to remove her face covering. (Screenshot via ABC7)
A woman wearing the traditional Muslim dress of a hijab and niqab was asked to remove her head covering or leave a store in Indiana, she said.
Sarah Safi, 32, said she was discriminated against Monday at a Family Dollar store in Gary, Ind., because she wouldn't remove the veil from her face. Safi captured part of the exchange on video using her cellphone.
Safi, a native Texan, went into the store to buy charcoal for a family barbecue.
"I might have made it 10 steps into the store and I hear the lady behind the counter say, 'Ma'am, you need to take that off your face or you need to leave my store,'" Safi said.
Safi then pulled out her cellphone and began to record the incident. She told the woman behind the counter who said she was the manager, that she dresses this way for her religion. The manager told her to leave.
"I understand," the manager can be seen saying on the video. "But you have to understand too this is a high-crime area and we get robbed a lot. You need to remove that from your face or remove yourself from the store."
Safi said it was her religious freedom to wear the dress, and the manager threatened to call the police. Safi returned to her car, where her four children were waiting, she said, rather than deal with the police.
The store and the manager have declined to comment on the incident.