clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Muslim Woman Says She Was Asked to Remove Her Hijab at London McDonald’s

She says she was told that it was a security risk to the restaurant

McDonalds Earnings Rise On Value Menu Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Burger chain McDonald’s is embroiled in a fresh controversy after a security guard told a Muslim woman to remove her headscarf or leave one of the chain’s restaurants on Seven Sister’s Road, in north London on Thursday evening.

The student, 19, who asked to remain anonymous, has spoken of her fury at what happened, claiming she was told her hijab was a security threat. The diner said that when she refused the request, the security guard looked shocked, and she decided to film the situation on her phone. A friend uploaded it to Twitter on her behalf.

In the footage, you can hear the woman, a British Muslim of Middle Eastern descent, asking the guard why she’s not allowed in.

“It’s just a matter of taking it off,” he replies.

The woman responds by saying: “It’s not just a matter of taking it off. I wear this for religious reasons and I’m not ashamed of it, and I will stand in line and I will get the food I want, because this isn’t OK.”

The incident was first reported by the Guardian. The woman told the paper: “I thought: ‘It’s finally happening to me,’ like it has to so many hijabis.

“It didn’t feel real because I had seen so many videos like this and it was finally happening to me in real life. I was in so much disbelief. The friend I was with was shocked and scared, and said it was a risky situation.”

The student has vowed never to visit a McDonald’s restaurant again. A spokesperson for the company had not seen the footage at the time of a request for comment, but said its restaurants are open to everyone. Security guards at McDonald’s sites are employed by third-party partner companies.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater London newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world