A Muslim woman says she was kicked out of a Family Dollar store in Gary, Indiana, because she was wearing a traditional Islamic veil.
Sarah Safi, who wears a niqab and hijab for religious reasons, caught part of her exchange with the store manager on video.
It shows the manager insist that Safi either remove her garment from her face or leave the store.
“This is a high crime area and we get robbed a lot,” she says. “You need to remove that from your face or remove yourself from the store.”
“I told her this country is a country of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and I have a right to wear whatever I want,” Safi told ABC 7 News.
When the manager said she would call the police if she didn’t leave the store, Safi left.
The video shows that the manager had some parting words
“Have a blessed day,” she says as Safi exits the store.
“I’m really saddened. I was born here, raised here all my life and I’ve never been to an establishment and been treated like this,” Safi said. “I would like to sit with her and speak to her about what I believe in, because maybe if she heard and really listened to what I believe it I would open her heart.”
“It’s not just a blatant violation of the civil rights laws of this country but it’s also a violation of the basic laws of decency and morality that you don’t treat customers this way just because they have a different cultural background or a different religion,” said Ahmed Rehab with the Council on American Islamic Relations.
Watch the video above.